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Pa. utility agency slapped by judge, admits error

Published: 10/26/12 @ 03:24


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is ending the week with a loss in court and trying to explain mistakes in parceling out natural gas drilling revenue.

The agency was told today by a state judge to stop challenging municipal ordinances affecting gas drilling. Also today, the agency admitted it miscalculated how much money some municipalities will receive from Marcellus Shale well fees.

The ordinance challenges and the fee were created by sweeping gas-drilling legislation signed in February by Gov. Tom Corbett.

A utility commission spokeswoman couldn’t say exactly how the error occurred or which municipalities were affected. She declined comment on the judge’s order.

Several towns had complained the agency was illegally challenging ordinances after a state court ruled the law’s zoning limitations on drilling to be unconstitutional.