Pennsylvania shale source of economic gain

June 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 14 (UPI) -- The natural gas industry in Pennsylvania has generated more than $1.8 billion in tax revenue in the last seven years, the Marcellus Shale Coalition said.

The state government said it collected more than $200 million in so-called impact fees tied to shale natural gas development so far this year.

State law enacted in 2010 requires natural gas producers to pay a fee to local communities where they are operating.

Marcellus Shale Coalition Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Klaber said revenue generated from natural gas production in the state has spread to "every corner" of Pennsylvania.

"While the impact fee represents a new and substantial revenue stream for local and state government agencies, the natural gas industry has also generated more than $1.8 billion in tax revenues since 2006," she said in a Thursday statement.

The Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania said the shale boom was generating "huge revenues" to the benefit of local communities.

Opposition group MarcellusProtest.org said, however, the natural gas industry is "spending millions of dollars" on "propaganda" about shale natural gas benefits.

The U.S. Energy Department said natural gas production from Marcellus shale exceeded 1 trillion cubic feet in 2011, the last year the department gathered data.

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