Will Corbett Support His Commissions’ Recommended Tax Increases?

This weekend we learned that Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale commission, despite its lopsided representation from the natural gas industry, will apparently be recommending some form of tax fee on fracking in addition to the odious practice of forced pooling. Here’s Angela Couloumbis and Laura Olson at the Inquirer: Gov. Corbett’s advisory panel on drilling in [...]

Are Gas Companies Misrepresenting PA’s Laws to Landowners?

The “fracking at summer camps” news hook here is pretty funny, but I’m more concerned about how pervasive these kinds of practices are: In a telephone conversation with the Forward, Robinson defended his camp’s decision to sign a Hess lease, saying, among other things, that he felt he had no choice under Pennsylvania law. Gas [...]

How Much Gas is There?

Matthew Kahn has a great post on the big NYT natural gas story: Asymmetric information and fundamental uncertainty raise interesting issues in economics. Suppose that a natural gas company owns 10 plots of adjacent land and reports the “provable” quantity of natural gas that it can access at one of the plots. It is tempting [...]

Is Shale Gas a Bubble?

Ian Urbina has a long piece throwing some cold water on the natural gas hype at the NYT: Natural gas companies have been placing enormous bets on the wells they are drilling, saying they will deliver big profits and provide a vast new source of energy for the United States. But the gas may not [...]

The Fracking Tax Flight Fallacy

Mike Sturla explains that PA has the gas drillers by the balls: Rep. Michael Sturla of Lancaster County said industry leaders have, during testimony in front of his committee, said they would not leave Pennsylvania even if the state’s fracking tax is 1 percent higher than the highest gas drilling tax in the country. “Frankly, [...]

Grover Norquist Says Scarnati’s "Local Impact Fee" is a Tax

Americans for Tax Reform comes out against Joe Scarnati’s “local impact fee” for natural gas drilling: For the last two years former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell worked tirelessly to impose a new tax on natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. While Rendell left office empty-handed, lawmakers in Harrisburg are back with a new proposal [...]

Frackers Hiding Water Testing Data

Abrahm Lustgarten: The absence of baseline data was one of the most serious criticisms leveled at a group of Duke researchers last week when they published the first peer-reviewed study linking drilling to methane contamination in water supplies. That study — which found that methane concentrations in drinking water increased dramatically with proximity to gas [...]