Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shale Drilling Decision Has NIZ Implications

On Wednesday, Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Keith Quigley granted seven municipalities a temporary injunction in their quest to invalidate a state law that limits their power to regulate the natural gas industry. In doing so, the Court rejected a state argument that municipalities have no say in a Municipal Planning Code enacted by the state legislature.

Now Judge Quigley did not grant total relief. It's just a 120-day stay. But if you're a NIZ sympathizers making the analogous argument that Townships have no say in a state change to their EIT collection, maybe it's time to think again.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why can't the Brooks Brothers just go down to their local bank and get a loan to build this new house for their Phantoms ...

... just like any other minor league, er, um, small business owner looking to set up shop in a new location?

Is their credit bad or something?

NOT SMART ENOUGH TO KEEP UP WITH THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE NIZ OR ITS CHEERLEADERS

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that this occurred. The local State Representative,SIMMONS voted to enact this new TAX and also remove local control on Planning and Zoning.

Citizens Alliance of Pa. also indicated that this was a Job killer and an unnecessary TAX on a growing Industry.

Anonymous said...

Please keep us informed. This NIZ arena scandal keeps getting uglier.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was going to settle?

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Wonder when this take over of my neighbor's good assets began? What state official where realized, if we offer incentives, maybe we can tempt corporations to come to our state. Even yesterday some radio personality discussed PA's VW move into the state and subsequent move out.

Anonymous said...

The drilling tax is a job killer. Several drillers (e.g. Talisman, Anadarko) have moved rigs out of PA and into OH, where the business environment is more friendly. Cranberry Twp., PA is seeing its growth stopped, in favor of locations in Youngstown. OH is open for business and will create 60,000 energy related jobs this year. Ohio State is offering a variety of new programs related to energy. Natural gas is now 30% of the US energy profile. It's price has collapsed from over $15 per cu. ft. to today's 10-year low at about $1.50. Drill baby drill seems to have worked for natural gas. Typical of PA (home to the highest corporate taxes in the country), we are back to chasing business out of state.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure there is a big connection between the issue in this Planning Code case and the NIZ? Taxes are a whole different world.

That said, it looks like the NIZ is dying(or already dead) fast. The valley has decided,the burbs are uninterested in the success of the core.That is democracy at work.

It will eventually (how long?) result in the state merging municipalities. In the south most states have counties as the primary governing body.

They see the disasters around the country (like Detroit)where the state essentially ends up taking control.It results in forced regionalization.

There are the beginnings of county level government. No way 501 school districts can continue. The state now has county wide tax collection.

Anonymous said...

The THODE-GEETING NIZ is too big to fail

(or is that fale, let me call Chairman Pawlowski and check...)

Lighthouse said...

Bernie, I know you have some critics on here (as well as a large silent following of readers) but I have to commend you for your NIZ reporting. You have been factually based, investigative, informative, and quite honestly I believe influential in this reaching the point that it has with the sheer number of municipalities joining, or considering joining. Even developers now considering challenges. Also, as recently as for St. Patrick's Day Sen. Browne was inviting seemingly the whole greater Lehigh Valley to his fundraisers, and now I understand he may not even seek reelection.

Its not the first time, and I am sure it will not be the last, but you have wielded some influence on this matter. For what its worth, just thought it should be said.

Anonymous said...

The relationship between the drilling Tax, eliminating local control of planning, zoning and the NIZ tax is that local control of these issues is being negated in favor of State control over local issues. Control by BIG Harrisburg politicians and Officials, Corbett, Simmons etc.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks, Lighthouse, I really appreciate the kind words. I think the coverage of the NIZ has been excellent everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
I must say(and I admit that I am shocked to say) you are very humble. Your reporting on this NIZ far far outshines any other source. You have unearthed, exposed and explained the issues on this from day one!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank you. My detractors will be certain I posted this comment myself.

Matt Assad and Scott Kraus broke what, in my view, is the biggest of the many stories in this matter - the diversion of EIT.

MM has been warning about the pitfalls long before any of us.

The ET has also provided excellent coverage in the short time it has been in A-town.

I really think everyone involved in this, whether it is new media or the newspapers, has been at the top of their game.

Anonymous said...

Anon 835.

I can tell you that drillers moved rigs out of PA to OH for the simple financial considerations but not as you describe. In general terms, PA has "dry" gas consisting primarily of Dry gas is pipeline ready beneficially used for heating and cooking. OH has more “wet gas” which contains methane and other gas liquids including ethane, butane, propane, and pentane. While dry gas is typically more profitable because of processing cost, in recent months, the price of methane has dropped at a higher rate than liquid types used for other products. Therefore, there has been a greater emphasis on wet gas in OH. There have been press releases about this.

There was a push in the last two years to lock up leases in PA before they expire despite having the pipelines in place to transport the gas and pipelines that exist are at capacity.

There is more pipeline work going on now. They wouldn’t be expending funds on pipeline networks if they weren’t here to stay.

Anonymous said...

Dry gas consits primarly of methane....sorry about fragment.