Governor Tom Corbett, in his budget address on February 4th, announced that Pennsylvania is now the second largest producer of natural gas. In fact, the industry is the linchpin for the Governor's economic success plan for the state.
The impact fee, which is charge per fracking well drilled, was enacted by the legislation from Act 13 in 2012, and has produced $200 million in collected fees, so far. It is expected to raise about $600 million over three years, and the money collected up to this point, will be distributed to municipalities and counties within the next two months.
Research of the natural gas industry reveals that if PA would have charged a severance fee, which is tax on the amount of natural gas extracted, Pennsylvanians would have benefited far greater.
The state's 4,900 fracking wells, in 2013, extracted 3.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. A 5% tax, similar to what West Virginia charges, would have yielded $425 million. This is doubled what Pennsylvania has collected so far, and could amount to billions for years to come..
Opponents of the impact fee, use this as ammunition that Governor Corbett's policies has short-changed the state. While the backers of the impact fee argue that it allows a company to operate with out being overburdened.