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:

Miller says higher gas tax is coming, GOP leaders say they are opposed

By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun11:26 p.m. EDT, November 3, 2011

State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller predicted Thursday that the General Assembly would approve an increase in Maryland’s gas tax, putting his considerable influence behind an issue that is likely to be divisive in the coming legislative session.

“There’s going to be a gas tax,” Miller said flatly in an address to Maryland business leaders meeting here. “Is it popular? No, [but] it is going to have to get done now.”