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Pennsylvania

Natural gas tax comes up for debate in Pennsylvania House

| Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, 7:42 a.m.
The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg
The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Legislation to impose a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production is getting closer to a vote in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, although the long-sought tax still faces hurdles in the nation's No. 2 gas state.

Debate over amendments lasted several hours Monday night, and was expected to continue Tuesday. A final vote may not occur before December.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and House Democrats have pressed Republican majority leaders to allow a tax vote.

The bill imposes a volume tax that rises with the price of natural gas. It would raise about $100 million in a full year for the cash-strapped state, using 2016 production and current prices.

Monday's amendments added industry-friendly provisions designed to speed up the state's issuance of pollution-control permits, similar to provisions the Senate passed with a natural gas tax in July.

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