Energy - August 12, 2011

Senate Democrats Address Shale Drilling

With the discussion of how to handle the fast growing Marcellus Shale drilling in the state, two Democrat state Senators held a press conference on Wednesday in Wilkes Barre to reiterate their top priorities on the topic. Senators John Yudichak and Jay Costa stressed the importance of employment opportunities and environmental protection revolving around the gas extraction. The Senators spoke about the possible severance tax to be placed on the drilling and that some of it should go into a program for environmental grants. The discussion of a severance tax and other related drilling bills is ongoing and may pick up momentum in the fall.


Will Privatization Increase Liquor Prices?

Yesterday at the PA Liquor Control Board meeting, several individuals pointed out that by privatizing the state's liquor stores, the price of alcohol will increase. The president of the United Food and commercial Workers 1776 and the president of the PLCB both said that PA has comparable prices to surrounding states that have privatized their liquor sales. At the same time, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, who supports an effort to privatize the stores, disagrees. Discussion of Rep. Turzai's bill, HB 11, will continue when the legislature convenes next month.