FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Bill Kortz
Kortz: Marcellus Shale bill is a travesty
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement regarding House passage of the conference committee report of the Marcellus Shale impact fee legislation, H.B. 1950:
"Today, I voted 'no' on House Bill 1950 because, though I believe we should embrace natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, this legislation is not an effective or responsible plan. The proposed effective tax rate of 2 percent is woefully low and will do little to nothing to help offset the costs facing Pennsylvanians. Further, it would be the lowest of any natural gas-producing state in the nation – lower than West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, etc.
"The amount of money set aside within this proposal for our ailing bridges is just a joke. Just yesterday, Governor Corbett again snubbed this issue in his annual budget proposal. I am gravely concerned about what kind of tragedy must occur before our governor and Republican leadership take action to address our very serious transportation crisis.
"Worse yet, this bill strips local municipalities of their own zoning powers. This would have devastating effects on property owners across the commonwealth, as municipalities with active gas drilling will find their carefully considered zoning laws nullified. Without local control, residents in these communities could easily be left with no power to prevent a drilling rig from being built within 500 feet of homes, schools, day care centers, senior centers, churches, water sources, playgrounds etc.
"All other local ordinances will also be superseded such as noise, lighting, fencing, times of operation, assembly and disassembly of rigs, etc. This is a bad policy that will negatively impact the people and communities in Pennsylvania. This supercedance of local control is unacceptable."