County's use of Marcellus Shale revenues praised

Natural gas industry representatives and elected officials rallied around one existing gas drilling fee while railing against another proposed tax.

At Alameda Park Tuesday morning, the Marcellus Shale Coalition hosted Butler County commissioners, four state representatives, a state senator and various township officials for a series of speeches discussing how impact fees on natural gas drilling have funded county business.

David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said they picked Butler County specifically because of their usage of such fee revenues. The coalition represents various players in the natural gas industry and does some political lobbying.

“I think it's fair to say that Butler County, and the way they've invested those funds in a multitude of ways, has been a shining example of how these funds were meant to be used,” Spigelmyer said.

While the event focused heavily on the benefits of impact fees specifically, many negative comments were directed toward Gov. Tom Wolf's ongoing efforts to implement a severance tax. Discussion focused on the economics of those taxation models — not environmental impacts of natural gas drilling.