New Castle News

Marcellus Shale

February 29, 2012

County commissioners adopt gas fee ordinance



Don Dickinson of Washington Township echoed Hahn’s concerns about rushing into an ordinance.

“This isn’t your money,” he said. “This isn’t the state’s money. This belongs to the people.

“I think it’s easy for the commissioners to grab at the carrot that shale has dangled,” he said, adding that generally speaking, “politicians and bureaucrats are not good custodians of our money.”

He suggested the commissioners sit down with the gas company representatives and “think outside of the box,” and possibly get them to set up a trust fund for the county in lieu of an impact fee ordinance.

“Why take in 60 percent (of the impact fees) when you can have 100 percent?” he said. Forty percent of any county-approved fee goes to state coffers.

Commissioner Dan Vogler responded that the commissioners have had three or four meetings with Shell Oil Co. and invited the economic development corporation and the chamber of commerce executive directors.

The commissioners “made a pitch” to Shell and offered the company local office space with less traffic congestion and lower costs.

However, the company has opened its local offices on New Butler Road.

“We tried to roll out the welcome mats for them, and they aren’t the only company we’ve met with either,” Vogler said.

The public and the media were not included in those meetings.


 Jack Carlson of Slippery Rock Township, former owner of Carlson Mining, said he has leased his land for drilling.

He pointed out that the Patterson well in Little Beaver Township has the capacity to generate 9 milllion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

He wonders whether the drilling companies will continue drilling wells here if they are charged impact fees, he said.

Vogler said that the county through the ordinance would realize $21,000 the first year for the two wells already drilled on the Patterson site. That is the county’s portion of 36 percent of the 60 percent it would receive the first year.

 Hahn, who represents a citizens group called The Fracking Truth Alliance of Lawrence County, asked why the commissioners are moving so quickly to vote on the ordinance.

“Even a 60-day window is not long enough,” she said.

She urged the commissioners to postpone their decision until the municipalities all have a chance to study it.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Marcellus Shale
  • Our Opinion: New study suggests problem with some state shale gas wells

    A recent study of leaks from shale gas wells raises more questions than it answers. And because of the growing presence of shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, it’s essential that both government and industry provide clarity.

    July 9, 2014

  • gavel.jpg Holdout property owners file for injunction

    Holdout landowners are asking Commonwealth Court to declare that forced pooling violates the state constitution.

    May 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Holdout landowners retain Pittsburgh attorney; ask hearings be postponed

    A Pittsburgh attorney is asking that next month’s hearings on forced pooling be postponed. Atty. Omar Abuhejleh also filed a motion with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Friday allowing the affected landowners to formally intervene in the case filed by Hilcorp Energy Co.

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangers of fracking the topic at Villa Maria

    Public health concerns about fracking must be addressed, a nurse practitioner told approximately 150 people at Villa Maria on Thursday.

    April 26, 2014

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Anti fracking group waits for answer to its letter

    More than 20 state environmental groups are asking that March 25 and 26 hearings on proposed “forced pooling” be postponed. They say more time is necessary to allow members of the public to voice their opinions.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Hilcorp_Energy.jpg DEP seeks extra hearing, more room

    State officials are seeking greater public participation for a hearing on a request that could lead to “forced pooling.” The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is asking that the hearings be moved to a facility that  can accommodate 500 people, and that an additional day of hearings be added.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hilcorp_Energy.jpg Hilcorp seeks to force drilling on reluctant landowners

    A hearing has been set on a request to force local landowners to allow gas and oil drilling. Hilcorp Corp., a Texas firm with multiple well pads in the area, is asking for the so-called “forced pooling.”

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • shale.tiff Commission reviews 11 well pad plans

    As Marcellus and Utica shale drilling continues and pipelines are laid, plans are in place for more well pads locally. The Lawrence County Planning Commission reviewed land development plans Tuesday for 11 sites for well pads, which are where the drilling rigs are set up.

    December 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • pipe.tiff Natural gas pipeline webs being spun through area

    First of three parts: A few years ago, talk about Marcellus and Utica shales was about drilling and fracking. While drilling for natural gas is now prevalent locally and well pads are dotting the county’s horizon, focus is shifting to the digging for construction of pipelines to transport the gas from the drilling sites to areas throughout the middle and eastern United States.

    October 29, 2013 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results