Pennsylvania agency wants to boost oil and gas drilling permit fees

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to more than double the fees that oil and natural gas companies pay for drilling permits in the state, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the agency is asking that the cost of a permit go from $5,000 to $12,500 per well, with the funding to support DEP’s oil and gas program, which has been running a deficit of $600,000 per month. In addition, Governor Tom Wolf said he will ask for $2.5 million to hire 35 DEP employees in an effort to shore up its permitting process that has been plagued by excessive wait times and backlogs. For more, read the full story.