As the Intelligencer Journal reports, Marcellus Shale drilling is the reason UGI Utilities is dropping natural gas rates by 13.5 percent, providing significant savings for the 15 counties it services in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The average UGI residential customer will save $175 in heating costs a year. These savings are especially beneficial for low-income families, who spend almost a quarter of their after-tax income on energy and now can spend less heating their homes, running hot water and cooking food.
The affordable natural gas prices, a direct result of the drilling boom, and the industry’s positive impacts on communities should be at the forefront of the battle ragging in Harrisburg to tax or implement a fee on shale exploration.
Drilling companies are constantly deciding where to invest next. There are only so many drilling rigs, and other states have natural gas they can tap into. While the drilling industry won’t disappear if a severance tax is enacted, there will be an impact—through reduced investment in the state, lower wages, reduction in job growth or a reduction in spending on services such as road improvements.
To learn more about implementing a principled fee on Marcellus Shale drilling, click here.
Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale “golden goose” benefits every resident through lower energy prices, not just the landowners who profited from the $7 billion in lease and royalty payments paid out since 2006 or the tens of thousands of workers who now have jobs tied to drilling.