MSC in The Citizens’ Voice: Develop policies that encourage natural gas development

Pennsylvania’s tax on natural gas – the impact fee – generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually for critical infrastructure programs across the entire Commonwealth, a fact omitted in your Feb. 4 editorial, “Wolf’s test for lawmakers.” Revenues generated from the natural gas tax are projected to hit a record $247 million this year, and are on track to generate nearly $1.7 billion since 2012.

This existing annual tax revenue, when combined with other business taxes paid by the industry as well as lease bonuses and royalties tied to natural gas development on state land, has provided nearly $5 billion in new revenue since unconventional shale gas development began.

Impact fee revenues, as trumpeted by local leaders across the Commonwealth, are a significant funding source for community investment in roads, bridges, parks and first responder services, as well as important statewide environmental initiatives like the Growing Greener program.

Yet, burdening one of Pennsylvania’s top job creators with additional energy taxes will cost consumers, hurt local jobs, especially among the building and labor trades, and negatively impact investment needed to safely produce clean and abundant energy that’s ushering in a new era of manufacturing growth.

Policy makers should develop policies that encourage Pennsylvania natural gas development and use, especially among power generation and manufacturing. Doing so, according to a 2017 McKinsey & Co. study, could unlock $60 billion in GDP growth and bring more than 100,000 new, good-paying jobs for the Commonwealth.

We’ll continue to work with leaders in Harrisburg on solutions to drive continued economic growth, environmental progress and a brighter future for the entire Commonwealth.

David Spieglmyer

President, Marcellus Shale Coalition

Pittsburgh

Click here to view this letter online.