At a time when our country – and the world – require additional natural gas supplies to fuel economic growth and keep us all cool and safe, it’s welcome news that Washington County and other Pennsylvania counties are benefitting from a rebound in energy drilling that sharply increases impact fee income from producing wells.
That fee revenue had declined in 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic struck, and its rise signals higher energy production ahead.
As your recent news story detailed, Washington County led the state in the amount of Act 13 funds it receives from the natural gas industry for drilling. It’s clear that the more than $7.6 million in impact fees the county received will be reinvested to benefit our communities. In the past, those monies have helped restore the courthouse, upgrade bridges and improve public safety, and they will continue to help improve county services.
But the benefits of increased drilling and energy production go far beyond our local communities. The production rise furnishes the natural gas we need to keep our factories operating and our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And not just here but abroad, where the war in Ukraine is hurting natural gas supplies to our allies in Europe as Russia cuts off gas to those opposing its Ukraine invasion.
The United States’ increased production will help countless people elsewhere obtain the fuel they need, which makes the case for more critical infrastructure like pipelines. And, this is all being done while we continue our significant progress toward achieving our net-zero emission goals – showing the world that energy and environmental stewardship can go hand-in-hand.
Pennsylvania should stand proud of its contribution to America’s efforts to reliably, affordably supply our fellow citizens with energy, while ensuring our allies have the supplies they need to stand up to Russia.
Mid Atlantic Regional Director of Consumer Energy Alliance
Publication: Observer Reporter