In its July 27 editorial, “Pottstown School Leaders Advocate for State Budget with More Schools Funding,” The Mercury fundamentally fails to acknowledge the negative impact that Gov. Wolf’s proposed energy tax – the nation’s highest – will have on Pennsylvania’s economy.
For countless families and communities throughout all corners of the commonwealth, Pennsylvania’s energy revolution has been a blessing. In fact, the current impact tax has generated nearly $830 million in just a few years, sending drilling tax revenues to each and every county for important economic and infrastructure development as well as environmental enhancement projects.
The natural gas industry is also creating good jobs that pay family-supporting wages. And while there aren’t any drilling rigs in Montgomery County, the region is still benefitting. From Sunoco’s proposed $4.2 billion pipeline project, which may create nearly 30,000 jobs, many of them union; to family budgets going further these days thanks to abundant supplies of affordable natural gas; and drastically improved air quality – shale is a win-win opportunity.
Yet, these middle-class and environmental benefits are at risk by calls for even higher energy taxes. Yes, it’s true, Pennsylvania’s shale isn’t going anywhere but if this “highest-in-the-nation” energy tax is rammed through Harrisburg, we’ll see job loss and consumers and families bearing the tax’s cost. We need to do what’s best for our current and future generations. But even higher energy taxes are a blueprint for job loss and squandered opportunities.
Erica Clayton Wright
Marcellus Shale Coalition
NOTE: Click HERE to view this letter online.