Pa. refinery tax credit to get lawmakers' scrutiny
Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed tax break of up to $1.7 billion to lure an integrated petrochemical industry to Pennsylvania will get scrutiny in the coming days by state lawmakers eager to ensure that taxpayers get a return on their money and question whether that amount of money is really necessary...
Details of the tax credit started to become public in recent days as Corbett began to press the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve it before the end of June. With less than two weeks until they leave Harrisburg for the summer, lawmakers are still trying to get a better grasp on the details of what would be the state's biggest financial incentive package ever.
They are uneasy over the appearance of a giveaway to the industry - Corbett is proposing a second straight year of cuts in aid to education and the poor - and some suggest that they'll want to look closely at tying the tax credit to the number of people hired.
The number of natural gas compressor stations planned for Northeastern Pennsylvania is multiplying as companies lay more pipelines to carry Marcellus Shale gas to customers.
The state has issued or is considering 29 air quality permits for separate stations in the northeast region, all of them in Susquehanna, Wyoming and Luzerne counties, according to a tally by the Department of Environmental Protection. Nearly two dozen of the permits are for stations planned within a 15-mile radius of the Susquehanna County seat in Montrose.
DEP has issued 383 of the permits statewide since October 2005, according to the agency's tally. Not all of the permitted stations have been built and some may never materialize.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is monitoring a creek where a clay substance used as a lubricant leaked from an underground drilling operation in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The DEP says the bentonite leaked into Georges Creek in Fayette County on June 2 or 3. The substance is naturally occurring clay used to lubricate natural gas pipeline drilling bits and sometimes the underground pressure of drilling forces it up through fissures in the ground and into waterways.
The Herald-Standard of Uniontown reports the pipeline is owned by operated by Laurel Mountain Midstream. A spokesman says such leaks are unpredictable and that the company is working with regulators.
Chesapeake Hired Lawyer With Stealth Record in CEO ProbesGov. Tom Corbett's administration has been lobbying neighboring states to approve regulations to open the Delaware River basin to natural gas drilling, a plan that came to a screeching halt in November when Corbett's counterpart in Delaware said the proposal lacked sufficient public health protections.The state's push to get behind Marcellus Shale gas drilling, using a process known as fracking, is an attempt to revive proposed regulations developed by the Delaware River Basin Commission.The commission, which regulates large uses of water like fracking in the watershed covering the eastern third of Pennsylvania, the upper Delaware area in New York, western New Jersey and most of Delaware, has blocked the practice in the absence of its own environmental regulations.
The lawyer Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s (CHK) audit committee hired to investigate possible conflicts of interest in its chief executive’s loans has a record of managing probes with minimum publicity about himself or his client. Craig Weinstock, a Houston-based attorney with Locke Lord LLP, has handled more than a dozen internal investigations of alleged corporate malfeasance since 2002, including one for a company run by Chesapeake’s lead director Merrill A. “Pete” Miller Jr., a member of the audit committee, a person familiar with Weinstock’s work said.