In a recent press release, PennFuture -- named Pennsylvania's leading environmental advocacy group by the Philadelphia Inquirer -- has criticized PA Governor Tom Corbett's proposed Marcellus Shale drilling plan. PennFuture president Jan Jarret says the plan is drafted in the best interest of the drilling industry, rather than in the best interests of Pennsylvania citizens.
According to Jarret, the proposed plan is wrought with shortcomings, stating "this plan is neither fair nor comprehensive, and is full of giveaways to the drillers. It appears that the governor’s thinking in devising his plan was, ‘What’s the least I can ask of the drilling industry?' The proposed impact fee is too small, full of loopholes, unwieldy to administer, and leaves too much money on the table,” continued Jarrett. “It also fails to address the serious needs our citizens and communities face in these hard economic times, and allows the drillers to pay very little in return for the massive profits they make from Pennsylvania’s resources."
The proposed plan, in addition to failing establish a model for safe growth of the drilling industry that will benefit Pennsylvania citizens as a whole, also stands to have impacts of specific concern to anglers. “This plan shortchanges the environment by refusing to direct money to Growing Greener,” said Jarrett. Growing Greener is an important program that helps fund watershed restoration and protection projects, such as those undertaken by groups like Trout Unlimited, amongst others. Growing Greener has repeatedly faced funding cut threats under Corbett's administration.
In regards to the lack of fees and taxes faced by the drilling industry, Jarret stated "As we have seen from production reports from drilling companies, the volumes being produced are enormous – and enormously profitable. To place such a small fee on this bonanza is a giveaway to the industry."