Just in case Democrats in Harrisburg needed any more reasons to wait out the Republicans on fracking regulations until after the 2012 elections, the new Franklin and Marshall poll makes it quite clear that the voters hate Scarnati’s “local impact fee” and want a real statewide severance tax.
Scott Detrow has the numbers:
Pennsylvanians are split, on whether or not drilling has “improved or reduced the quality of life in those communities where drilling is taking place.” 35 percent think it’s helping northeast and southwest Pennsylvania, 26 percent say it’ made things worse, and four in ten don’t know the answer.
Opinion shifts from murky to crystal-clear, when it comes to two legislative issues: a extraction tax or impact fee, and whether or not to lease out more forest land for natural gas drilling. 62 percent want to impose a levy on drillers – that’s below the often-quoted 69 percent Quinnipiac figure – and a whopping 72 percent want to see state and local government share the revenue. Just 12 percent think fee or tax money should stay at the local level, even though Governor Tom Corbett and many top Republican lawmakers say statewide distribution is off the table, if an impact fee happens.