Levdansky critical of Marcellus Shale drilling plan


  At a Harrisburg news conference, state Rep. David Levdansky, D-Forward Township , criticized a House Republican budget proposal that calls for leasing an additional 390,000 acres of state forest land for Marcellus Shale drilling.
  Levdansky called the plan short-sighted and irresponsible because it would raise revenue for the state budget by selling leases to private contractors to drill in the state’s forests.
  “We should not permit the private exploitation of our greatest natural resources for private gain,” Levdansky


said. “Leasing these lands for drilling would permanently fragment the forest ecosystem by constructing pipelines, access roads, and drilling sites in the most remote and ecologically sensitive areas of the state.” Levdansky is a supporter of Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposal to tax natural gas extraction. House Bill 1489 calls for a 5 percent tax on the gross value of natural gas extracted at the well head, and 4.7 cents for every 1,000 cubic feet extracted.
  Levdansky said it is the same structure applied by neighboring West Virginia. He also said the tax would not apply to smaller “stripper” wells producing 60,000 standard cubic feet or less a day.

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