Marcellus Shale Gas Tax Considered

By GREG MASTERS, Capital News Service
Published 11/19/11

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers are starting to debate how much “severance tax” should be imposed on the natural gas that might be produced from the Marcellus Shale rock formation in Western Maryland.

Though it is not clear when, or even whether, Maryland will allow drilling in the Marcellus Shale using the controversial gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” an advisory commission created by Gov. Martin O’Malley to develop recommendations is already considering p0tential sources of revenue for the state from natural gas production.

PlanMaryland Part 2: Framework for smart growth or dramatic policy shift?

By Megan Poinski

This is the second of four articles on PlanMaryland, the proposed state planning guidelines, that have stirred passionate opposition from many local officials.


To listen to the Department of Planning talk about PlanMaryland, the long-term development plan being drafted for the state, it does not represent a major policy shift.

“With PlanMaryland, we’re just trying to carry out what the whole state has said it wanted,” said Andrew Ratner, director of communications for the Maryland Department of Planning. Ratner said that the plan is built off of the 12 visions for economic growth, resource protection and planning policy that were drafted by a task force named by Gov. Martin O’Malley and codified by the General Assembly in 2009. The plan is nothing but a framework that syncs what departments are doing in the vein of smart growth, requiring no additional legislation to be implemented.

However, opponents to the plan feel otherwise.

“This represents a dramatic policy shift,” said Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin, who represents mostly rural Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. “It targets all infrastructure growth, and urbanizes the suburban parts of the state.”

Read more:

Senator E.J. Pipkin: Letter to Secretary Hall Asking for Senate Hearings before PlanMaryland sent to Governor

November 3, 2011

Secretary Richard Hall

Maryland Department of Planning

301 West Preston Street

Suite 1101

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Dear Secretary Hall,

The Senate President sent your office a letter dated, October 25, 2011, requesting you delay finalization and implementation of PlanMaryland until the Maryland State Senate could hold hearings.

It appears as though you have no intention of yielding to the wishes of the Senate President.

In a Daily Record article dated November 1st, you are quoted as saying “We have confidence in what’s in there.”  If this is the case, then certainly there should be no reason to put off hearings by the State Senate until the regular legislative session.  That is, unless of course there is an actual lack of confidence in “what’s in there.”

If the data used to create PlanMaryland is unimpeachable, then its presentation in front of a State Senate committee should be nothing but a simple courtesy.

I ask that you yield to the request of the Senate President and avail yourself to hearings before final recommendations and implementation of PlanMaryland.


E.J. Pipkin

Senate Minority Leader

Senator EJ Pipkin

District 36


Secretary Hall Misses The Mark

Secretary Hall misses the mark. PlanMaryland is a jobs killer in rural MD, strips property rights without compensation, and is leading to higher tolls, taxes, and fees.

While State money for repair of rural MD was being cut, Gov O’Malley found $120 million over the next 2 years for planning for the Purple Line & Red Line in Montgomery Co & Baltimore City (2 subway projects that will cost nearly $4 Billion-that’s Billion-dollars.

Ballotpedia: Maryland Republicans clash with Governor

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland: Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley has been liberal with his policies on environmentalism since taking office in 2007. Reactions to his policies have been mixed. His office claims that “He is basing his decisions on what is best for Maryland now and in the future.” Senate Minority Whip E. J. Pipkin has stated when speaking to rural residents that, “We’re at war. Simply, at war.”[1]

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