Western Pennsylvania has been blessed with the resource of natural gas – one of the richest deposits in the world. Engineers have figured out a way to extract this product and have invested heavily in order for the country to use this energy. They are reducing the need for foreign oil, and the economy of this area is better than most of the nation.
The industry has paid $1.8 billion in state and local taxes in the last two years, $600 million in impact fees in the last three years and billions of dollars to landowners in lease and royalty payments, in which a large portion are also taxes paid to the state. In fact, if there had been a 5 percent severance tax in 2011 and 2012, it would have generated less revenue than the current impact fee.
Now, state Rep. Jesse White has introduced a bill that would keep the impact fee in effect if a severance tax is enacted. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf wants gas companies to “pay their fair share” so more money can go to schools in Philadelphia and welfare programs can be expanded. Schools will squander the funds on unnecessary programs and children will be continue to be a little less educated every year.
The Obama administration has proven to be incompetent in every area except crippling the coal industry. Pennsylvania cannot afford similar leadership. We can’t allow liberals like Wolf and White to chase gas developers into neighboring states.