MSC in Times-Tribune: Higher Energy Taxes Burden Working Families

Editor: Pennsylvanians expect our leaders in Harrisburg to focus on common-sense solutions that encourage and support job creation.

Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf once again puts politics first by proposing another energy tax increase.

As The Times-Tribune editorial (“Conditions favor Wolf’s key initiative,” Feb. 8). correctly states, “consumers ultimately will pay (the tax).” With natural gas generating approximately one-third of Pennsylvania’s electricity and more than half of Pennsylvania households relying on it for heat, the governor’s proposal is a tax hike on working families.

Pennsylvania already taxes natural gas development — a fact conveniently ignored by higher tax advocates. The impact tax — levied on top of other business taxes paid by the industry — has generated $1.2 billion in new revenue, with an additional $220 million projected this year. This tax directly benefits communities and helps fund statewide conservation and environmental programs.

We are fortunate, as Wolf said, to have abundant natural gas resources that drive economic and environmental opportunities. These gains, as the editorial states, are happening locally through new power generation plants and the expansion of natural gas in manufacturing products from fertilizers to pharmaceuticals and solar panels to wind turbines. Yet over-taxing this economic engine jeopardizes these opportunities and will drive investment elsewhere.

Leaders in Harrisburg must work together on bipartisan solutions that encourage job-creating investment. After all, more investment — in energy and manufacturing — means more jobs, more tax revenue and a stronger, healthier economy.

David Spigelmyer
Marcellus Shale Coalition
Pittsburgh, Pa.

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