ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The House of Delegates has passed a 7.5 percent state severance tax on the wholesale market value of natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale in western Maryland.

The House voted 82-51 on Monday evening to approve the measure.

Last week, lawmakers changed the bill to cut the initially proposed tax in half from 15 percent.

The bill creates a fund for the Maryland Department of the Environment to help pay for any negative effects from drilling.

Supporters say the money will be needed, if the state decides to allow drilling, in order to protect residents and the environment from any damage resulting from drilling. But opponents say it will only discourage companies from wanting to drill in Maryland.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (4)
  1. ScorpionWasp says:

    And we wonder why Gas cost $5 Gallon ….. Thanks Democrats !!!

  2. Gillette377 says:

    That’s the way to solve the ststes budget problems. Drive business ans their employees out of the state. (Sarchasm intended)

  3. Mike Brown says:

    They don’t have to drill here and won’t now. This is just greed pure and simple. The companies are responsible for their own cleanup and this money will never be used for that. Corruption at it’s finest!

  4. Gina Mason says:

    The State should not allow natural gs/fracking in this state/. The Governmane should not allow any natrual gas/fracking in any area that will affect the groundwater of any people living in a fracking area.l

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