Keller Introduces Legislation Calling for Oil and Gas Well Pad Construction Standards, Rather Than Double Taxation
MIFFLINBURG – Rep. Fred Keller (R-Union/Snyder) officially announced the introduction of his legislation requiring the Environmental Quality Board to develop standards for the construction of oil and gas well pads (House Bill 29).

“Rather than dreaming up new ways to tax Pennsylvania’s burgeoning Marcellus Shale and natural gas industry back to the stone age, my legislation would require state government and, more specifically, the Environmental Quality Board to complete the critical work of establishing uniform standards governing land clearing, excavation, grading, road construction or well pad construction and stabilization activities, among others,” said Keller. “Recognizing that economic growth, environmental protection and better protecting the health and safety of Pennsylvania residents are not mutually exclusive, these standards must also include provisions that enhance spill response and containment of any harmful chemicals or pollutants used at the well site during drilling operations.”

Keller’s Oil and Gas Well Pad Construction Standards Act would also require the Environmental Quality Board to conduct an annual review of all standards developed under House Bill 29 and update them as necessary to reflect changes in technology or recognized best management practices.

“I revised the original language of this bill to make it crystal clear that any regulations put into practice as a result of House Bill 29, strictly apply to unconventional wells, Marcellus or Utica drilling,” said Keller. “When considering that every untapped natural gas well is a potential multi-million dollar construction project boosting our local economies while adding revenue to neighboring municipal coffers and businesses in various ways, enacting this legislation becomes a no brainer.”

Taxing the natural gas industry remains a hot topic throughout the Commonwealth. Falsely claiming that Marcellus drillers pay no taxes, energy tax proponents argue that Pennsylvania should tax the extraction of oil and natural resources, similar to taxes imposed in West Virginia and Texas.

Unlike these other states, Pennsylvania’s existing tax structure, which includes an exceptionally high Corporate Net Income Tax and limited Net Operating Loss Carryover, creates a disincentive for businesses to come into the state.

“Again, the biggest misconception lies in the fact that most people don’t realize that the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry pays taxes each year just like every other business in Pennsylvania,” noted Keller. “In reality, Marcellus drillers throughout Pennsylvania have already contributed more than $15 billion in capital investment and have paid in excess of $5 billion in royalties to landowners, not including the more than $1 billion in state and local revenues. Any additional industry-specific taxes placed on Marcellus Shale drilling operations amounts to double taxation, economic stagnation and lost jobs, plain and simple.”

House Bill 29 has been referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for consideration. For the latest legislative updates visit or

State Representative Fred Keller
85th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin 
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