Pennsylvania Gas Taxes to Rise Again
The highest gasoline tax in the United States is about to rise again. Pennsylvania will ring in the new year with another tax increase of $0.08 per gallon starting on January the 1st. This increase was part of a 2013 Law signed by Governor Tom Corbett and the funds raised will go toward the budget for the State Police as well toward repairing roads and bridges across the state. It is expected to bring in about $1 Billion in revenue for those purposes.
Judge Orders a Halt on Mining in State Park
The Sierra Club and Center for Coal Field Justice have convinced a judge to order Consol Coal Corporation to cease mining operations in certain areas of Ryerson State Park in Green County. The Judge has ordered Consol not to mine anywhere within 500 feet of a trout stream known as Kent Run while the environmental hearing board determines whether or not to review Consol’s permits for the area. The Sierra Club and Center for Coalfield Justice argue that mining in the area could irreparably damage or destroy Kent Run and allege that Consol’s activity in the area has already destroyed a lake and damaged another stream located in the park.
Commonwealth Offers Grants for Hemp Research
A pilot program to explore growing industrial hemp in Pennsylvania is about to be underway. Hemp is a relative of the Marijuana plant and has been illegal to grow in most states including Pennsylvania since the mid 20th century but now interested researchers can apply for grants to receive direct financial aid from the state to explore the potential for growing hemp as a cash crop. Hemp is grown around the world and has a high demand; its used in over 150 industrial purposes.