HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania moved closer Tuesday to imposing a fee on the drilling that has transformed the state by exploration of its vast Marcellus Shale reserves. It is the only major gas-producing state that does not tax the taking of natural gas from its soil.
The state Senate voted in favor of fees that could raise $180 million in the first year - perhaps more than $1 billion in the first five years. The measure would require new rules, including the online disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
It could pass the House on Tuesday night. Opponents called it a giveaway to energy companies, saying its environmental provisions are too weak.
Since 2008, Pennsylvania has been mobbed by energy companies drilling at least 4,000 wells across the state.