MSC in Times-Tribune: More Taxes Would Hurt Job Growth

A recent editorial (“Pressure rises for fair tax on natural gas,” April 17) unfortunately relies on political rhetoric rather than economic realities regarding shale development in the commonwealth.

While the paper wrongly suggests that the shale industry has a “nearly-free ride” in terms of taxes, fees and other financial contributions to our state, your readers should know these facts.

The shale industry supports nearly 240,000 Pennsylvania jobs and has generated more than $2.1 billion in taxes and over $630 million in impact fees, which overwhelmingly benefit local communities.

Our industry has invested more than $1 billion in road repairs and construction. And just last week, a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report found that shale development on taxpayer-owned forests has generated more than $582 million for the state.

Perhaps most importantly, DCNR’s report underscores that these activities are “carefully managed” and “that water quality has not been affected.” Further, our industry supported increasing DEP well permit fees to $5,000 from $100, ensuring taxpayers do not shoulder these added regulatory costs.

And strong, bipartisan majorities of Pennsylvanians — and American voters — support natural gas development. A new poll finds that more than 90 percent of Pennsylvania voters believe that increased domestic oil and natural gas production could lead to more U.S. jobs and help stimulate the economy.

More taxes will unnecessarily curb job growth, and our commonwealth needs more jobs. Let’s avoid a race to the-bottom and continue to get this generational opportunity right — now and for years to come.

John Augustine
Marcellus Shale Coalition

NOTE: Click HERE to view this letter online.