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Wolf pushes severance tax...again
PIOGA fully expects our top legislative priority will again be to oppose a natural gas severance tax. As the following article from StateImpact Pennsylvania explains, Governor Tom Wolf for the third year in a row plans to include a production tax in his upcoming budget proposal.

After failing to pass a natural gas severance tax for the last two years, Governor Tom Wolf is hoping this year, the legislature will get on board with his proposal.

Following an event at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia Tuesday evening, Wolf said he plans to ask for a tax on Marcellus Shale drillers during his 2017/2018 fiscal year budget address next month.However, he was mum on the details, which he said are still being worked out with legislators and the natural gas industry.

Wolf, who campaigned on imposing a five percent severance tax, thinks the measure is key to making sure communities hours away from the nearest gas well buy in to Marcellus Shale development, especially as pipeline companies look to move natural gas to markets on the East Coast through their backyards. Increasingly, suburban Philadelphia communities in Delaware and Chester Counties, which lie along the eastern edge of route of the proposed Mariner East pipeline, have been organizing to resist theproject.

"I want to be able to say to the people in Delaware County, if you support reasonable and environmentally correct expansion of the gas industry, this is going to help your schools," the governor said.

Last year, Wolf failed to pass a 6.5 percent severance tax at a time when natural gas production and prices were tanking.The governor would not say how high a tax rate he's proposing this year, but hinted at a new plan that would be sensitive to the natural gas market where prices remain low. <Continue reading>
Commonwealth Court ruling limits pollution fines after spills into streams, groundwater
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's PowerSource reports: Fines for spills into state streams and groundwater must be based on how long the initial release lasts and not on how many days the pollution lingers, Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Courtruled Wednesday in a decision that upends state environmental regulators' longstanding practice for calculating penalties.

A three-judge panel sided with EQT Corp. and rejected the state Department of Environmental Protection's contention that environmental fines should continue to mount when pollution remains in water or moves from one area of water to another after an active leak is plugged.

DEP's interpretation of the state Clean Streams Law "would result in potentially limitless continuing violations" for a single spill as long as any remnant of the pollution stays in state waters or until state-approved remediation was completed, Judge P. Kevin Brobson wrote for the court.

"To rule otherwise would be tantamount to punishing a polluter indefinitely, or at least for as long as the initially-released industrial waste remains in the waters of the Commonwealth, for the same violation," he wrote. <Continue reading>

Help preserve and expand conventional oil and gas industry water management options

Pennsylvania's conventional oil and natural gas producers must have access to cost-effective water management and disposal options to survive the oil and gas industry's downturn. Yet the water management companies serving the conventional industry in the Commonwealth are now threatened due to declining volumes as a result of the dramatic reduction of drilling and production by the industry and by a regulatory landscape made more stringent with development of shale.

Winter Meeting: Full speaker lineup announced, sponsorship and exhibit opportunities remain
We are pleased to announce the full lineup for PIOGA's Winter Meeting, February 1 at Rivers Casino on Pittsburgh's North Shore. Keynote luncheon speaker will be Dr. Terry Madonna, the well-known political analyst who will share his perspective on the changing state and federal political landscape. It's a topic that will affect our industry in many ways, particularly with the incoming Trump administration. Other speakers will address a wide range of topics touching on politics, economics, legislative and regulatory matters, and market opportunities. You can see all of the speakers and their topics here.

We anticipate an exceptional day of educational opportunities, networking and fun. If you'd like to ensure your company stands out from the crowd, we have a variety of exclusive and general sponsorships available, as well as a few exhibitor spots remaining. Find out more and register today. If you're looking for an edge in 2017, this is an event you don't want to miss!
Also of Interest:
PIOGA member Discount for water management conference. American Business Conferences' 7th Annual Cost Effective Water Management Marcellus & Utica 2017 takes place March 29-30 in Pittsburgh. Organizers spoke to dozens of operators across the Marcellus and Utica to get their thoughts on where they are headed and which key produced water treatment issues they wanted to see addressed and what solutions they are looking out for. This conference will be a direct reflection of these conversations, and organizers are inviting members of PIOGA to attend at a 15% discount off the current advertised registration price. To find out more, click here. The deadline for the discount offer is Friday, January 20.

2017 Shale Innovation Contest. The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center announces itsSixth Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest,offering a total of $60,000 in cash prizes for the three best shale energy-oriented innovations, new product ideas, or service concepts that are either in the development stage or recently launched.Researchers, entrepreneurs, or small businesses in Pennsylvania focused on developing a new product or service with applicability to the oil and gas industry can apply. All of the details can be found here. The application deadline is February 6.






Read the January PIOGA Press here.

Upcoming Events

PIOGA Cigar Dinner, January 19, Mallorca Restaurant, Pittsburgh.

Shale Energy Fluids Management Trends, Penn State Extension webinar, January 19

PIOGA Winter Meeting, February 1, 2017, Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh
Changes in Global Gas Markets, Penn State Extension webinar, February 16

American Business Conferences7th Annual Cost Effective Water Management Marcellus & Utica 2017, March 29-30, Pittsburgh. Use the code PIOGA15 by January 20 to receive a 15% discount.


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