Due to a drop in the average price of natural gas from 2018 to 2019, Pennsylvania communities received $42.6 million less in Act 13 Impact Fees this year compared to last year, which are fees paid annually by natural gas producers to communities where they spud, or start to drill. Fees are distributed to county and municipal governments affected by drilling, in addition to the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which supports environmental, highway, water and sewer, greenways and other projects across the state. The completion of energy infrastructure projects like the Mariner East pipelines have the potential to boost natural gas prices and ultimately help communities make up for the difference in years to come.
David Slifka, Derry Township supervisor in Westmoreland County, noted in a TribLive article that the township was expecting to receive less this year and budgeted accordingly. He also stated that natural gas prices might not recover until after Mariner East is complete and fully in service – which will increase the capacity to transport natural gas liquids throughout the Commonwealth, from the Marcellus and Utica shale basins to Marcus Hook, in Southeast Pennsylvania.
Energy infrastructure continues to play a major role in Pennsylvania’s energy sector. The investment and completion of key infrastructure projects will ensure that local communities continue to benefit from the natural resources Pennsylvania has to offer.