“Pennsylvania is sitting on one of the largest natural gas deposits in the world,” Yaw said. “A large number of our farming constituents, many that are enrolled in Clean and Green, have signed leases for gas exploration.”
According to Yaw, the leases for gas exploration and Clean and Green, as it now stands, has spurred confusion and inconsistency among the counties in how to apply roll-back taxes under the program.
“In an effort to encourage the development of the Marcellus Shale, while not penalizing landowners who may seek to develop their mineral rights, my bill will limit roll-back taxes to only the acres which are utilized for gas and oil drilling within Clean and Green,” Yaw said.
Senate Bill 298 would make only the land utilized for the extraction of natural gas subject to roll-back taxes whereas the bill currently requires roll-back taxes paid on the entire enrolled parcel of land.
“This bill will be referred to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee,” Yaw said. “As a member of the committee, I am planning on making a strong push for it to be considered as soon as possible.”
Yaw also introduced Senate Bill 297, which would amend the Oil and Gas Act to require a well operator to file a semi-annual and an annual report specifying the amount of production on the most well-specific basis available. All such reports shall be made viewable on the DEP website.
“Current Pennsylvania law requires annual well reporting, but stipulates that this information be kept confidential for five years, “Yaw said. “However, many states, such as Texas, already post this information online on a regular basis.”
“An open reporting process would spur a substantial amount of interest into the amount of natural gas being produced across the state,” he added. “In time, this information could turn out to be a significant revenue producer for our local governments and the state as a whole.”
The 23rd District Senator indicated this bill will be sent to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, of which he is a member.
Contact: Adam Pankake