MSC in PennLive: PennLive’s editorial didn’t tell the whole story on Marcellus money

A recent PennLive/Patriot-News editorial regrettably relies on a sloppily compiled report containing numerous, glaring errors.

Though the report claims to tally shale-related political contributions, it included non-industry donors, such as wind, nuclear and utility companies.

Specifically, the report considered contributions from a Pittsburgh-area Coca-Cola distributor, a federal credit union and the Humane Society of the United States as “Marcellus” contributors. 

Last time we checked, none these businesses are producing clean, abundant American energy. These significant errors, along with countless instances of double-reporting of contributions, overstates the so-called findings by millions of dollars.

The news organization’s blatant disregard for proper due diligence and blind reliance on bad data is inexcusable. 

Meanwhile, PAC contributions from public sector unions, for example, have totaled $122.7 million since 2007, according to data from the Commonwealth Foundation.

It comes as no surprise the organizations that compiled the report, which was merely regurgitated by PennLive, are also lobbying to layer another massive energy tax increase on top of the existing tax the industry already pays.

The current tax, called the impact fee, is in addition to every other tax that is required to be paid by businesses in the Commonwealth. This triple taxation only serves to hurt Pennsylvania jobs and increase home energy costs. 

The natural gas industry has always been – and will continue to be – transparent in our education and advocacy efforts.

With hundreds of thousands of family-sustaining jobs at stake, along with a generational opportunity to revitalize manufacturing and stimulate enormous economic growth, it’s critical that policymakers act on fact-based, accurate information.

Increasing the Commonwealth’s competitiveness and moving Pennsylvania forward depends on it.

Given what’s on the line, it’s disappointing that PennLive would blindly push a one-sided narrative and shirk its responsibility to deliver factual, substantive news to their readership. 

David Spigelmyer is president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry trade group. He writes from Pittsburgh.

Click HERE to view this letter online.