What Is Exactly Known About Act 13 And The Impact Fee?
I am not sure if it is the same all over the state, but at the last township meeting here in Independence Township in Washington County December 19th 2012, the Impact fee was brought up and how “ALL OF THE MONEY” was going to be spent. This was brought up by a person who likes to just pick at the tiniest things to attack the Supervisors. I decided to set back and let the person who ask that question continue talking, as so to get a grasp on exactly how much he knew about the amount we were getting. And yes it was not that much. However, it‘s not his fault to the lack of knowledge he has on Act 13, because to be truthful, if I did not write this blog and follow the subject 24-7 I doubt I would know what I do.
I am getting the impression that most of the people in this part of the state know very little about the politics of Hydraulic Fracturing. It is either they feel that “Money is good and they know what they see in the Range Resources television ads.
(A bit off topic, but gets the point across.) When Range ran their ads featuring a local retired school teacher, and a local construction company president telling how Range Resources was their drilling company, the opinion amongst the town folk of was good.
When Range started their war of words with those of us who saw what Pa. HB 1950/Act 13 was about, (a giveaway to the Oil & Gas Industry) they got down right slanderous and when that tactic did not have the results they had hoped for they stated threats.
It is unfair to single out Range when it comes to threats, because the industry as a whole made them. From threatening to pull their rigs and go elsewhere, to massive layoffs if the court did not let Act 13 stand as is. Saying that they could not afford to continue working without a uniformity in zoning from one municipality to another.
In case you have not been following the battle over Act 13 and what it does. In a nutshell, Act 13 gives millions of dollars to the Gas Industry for many different things. The one that caught my eye is, “We the Taxpayers” will pay for the out of state workers to live here. It also calls for local municipalities to give up their power for zoning to the state in matters of drilling. (This is the provision which was called Unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and is still under review.) This would allow fracking to take place in residential zoning. This would give them the right to drill next to, schools, Houses, churches, and hospitals.
Now the Impact Fee is what was suppose to make this look attractive. The fee which is the lowest of any state that has fracking in their borders is 1%.
People are under the impression this is going to be a lot of money, it’s not. Independence is getting just over $304,883.00. When you consider the damage that is being done to the infrastructure it does not even begin to cover it. The supervisors have used this money to hire a much needed police force for the township. It is hopeful that the police will pay for themselves as time goes on and it will free the Impact money up.
So as you can see, the Impact Fee is hardly a drop in the bucket and illustrates that the Industry would be fools to leave a state in which the Governor and Legislature is in their pocket.
The new state slogan should be: “Come to Pennsylvania where the Governor and the Legislature are lint in the Gas Industry’s pocket.”