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Helm Votes Yes on Gas Drilling Impact Legislation
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) Wednesday voted in favor of the conference committee report on House Bill 1950, which imposes impact fees on natural gas drilling companies in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. The House of Representatives approved the legislation by a vote of 101 to 90.

“We’ve been debating this issue for the last four years,” said Helm. “I am pleased we were able to finally pass meaningful legislation that will allow all of Pennsylvania to reap the benefits of this growing industry, while at the same time providing safeguards to protect the environment for future generations. This bill is the product of a lot of hard work and compromise.”

The bill gives counties the option of imposing a fee on Marcellus Shale gas wells in their communities to help mitigate the local impacts of drilling, including road and bridge repairs, water and sewer system construction, and emergency response training. The impact fee fluctuates depending on the price of natural gas and, starting in 2013, on the rate of inflation. The estimated annual revenues from the fee are projected to retroactively reach $94 million for 2011 and $155 million in 2012. Revenues could go as high as $295 million by 2015.

The legislation also directs 40 percent of the revenue to a variety of statewide infrastructure and environmental initiatives including: 

        • Commonwealth Financing Authority. 
        • Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener). 
        • Highway Bridge Improvement Restricted Account. 
        • Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST). 
        • Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund (HSCF).

In addition, House Bill 1950 brings regulations up-to-date by addressing new technology in oil and gas development and provides greater protection and accountability.

The legislation has the support of a number of government and environmental groups, including the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors, the Pennsylvania Association of Boroughs, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Renew Growing Greener.

“I believe House Bill 1950 is a big win for citizens across Pennsylvania, and not just those who live in the Marcellus Shale region,” said Helm. “It will lead to job growth and help reverse the current economic downturn. The increased production of natural gas will also benefit those who rely on this clean energy source to heat their homes.”

House Bill 1950 now goes to Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature.

For more information on Helm and her legislative priorities visit or .

State Representative Sue Helm
104th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Andy Briggs
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