A diverse set of Pennsylvanians once again urged lawmakers and Gov. Wolf yesterday to focus on job creation rather than even higher energy taxes.
Laborers’ International Union of North America’s (LiUNA) Dave Horn impressed upon policymakers the fact that “natural gas development has brought good jobs with good wages for [union] members,” and that laborers “want to see this industry continue to grow in order to create more jobs.”
And in an editorial this week, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette writes this:
“So, the industry is producing positive economic benefits in Pennsylvania, is seen as safe, but has other places to go if taxes become too punitive. And the governor and some pockets of lawmakers in areas not benefitting from the industry want to double-tax the industry. It doesn’t make sense.”
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Policymakers heard that same message loud and clear yesterday. Here’s what they’re saying:
- Higher Energy Taxes Will “Cost Thousands of Jobs, Stunt the Economy”: Wolf’s proposed severance tax could cost thousands of job and stunt the Pa. economy, business officials said Tuesday. … Pa. Chamber of Business and Industry president Gene Barr said increased taxes could “jeopardize the success” of the state’s fastest-growing industry. Instead of more taxes, he said, greater investment is needed. “We have great promise from what’s happened so far with the reserves we have from this tremendous resource, but we need more infrastructure to move the product to market,” he said. Speaker Turzai … took to the podium to echo Barr’s sentiment. “Why are being apologetic?” … noting that the industry has proven to be a boon to the state’s workers. … “Natural gas development has brought good jobs with good wages for our members,” said LiUNA’s David Horn. “We want to see this industry continue to grow in order to create more jobs, including for workers currently in our training programs.” (Patriot-News, 6/23/15)
- Shale Drives Medical’s Rapid Job Growth: “Because of the industry, Allegheny Medical has grown 44 percent over the past two years,” said Allegheny Medical Integrated Health Services’ Melissa Hodge. “Health and safety plays a major role and is critical for compliance with the strict regulations that the industry has to abide by. The jobs created are Pa. jobs, family sustaining jobs; medical providers, medical assistants, x-ray technicians, medical billing and scheduling positions, all added as a result of the increase in business for the gas and oil industry and their midstream suppliers.” (Release, 6/23/15)
- “Good Paying Jobs at Risk”: The Pa. Chamber of Business and Industry, along with representatives from manufacturing, small business and education, sought to highlight the economic and job creation benefits of responsible shale gas development. “Shale development has jumpstarted Pa.’s economy – creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs,” said Gene Barr. “Employers from all regions of the state across various industry sectors have seen their businesses grow directly because of the natural gas industry. But higher energy taxes will stunt our commonwealth’s economic growth and jeopardize the success of our state’s fastest growing industry.” (Pa. Business Daily, 6/23/15)
- Higher Energy Taxes Will “Negatively Impact” Small Business: “Dawood is proud to be a Pa. company, with the great majority of our employees working and living in Pa.,” said Dawood Engineering president Bony Dawood. “They earn family-sustaining wages. We invest the profits of our business in our people and our company, and we pay our fair share of taxes. … For companies like Dawood, enacting a punitive tax on natural gas will have a negative impact on our ability to do business.” (Release, 6/23/15)
- Shale Boosts Pa. Small Business Job Creation: Businesses benefitting from shale development on Tuesday rallied to oppose Gov. Wolf’s proposed natural gas extraction tax … Gene Barr said higher energy taxes “will stunt our economic growth and jeopardize the success of our state’s fastest-growing industry.” Melissa Hodge, of Allegheny Medical Integrated Health Services in Coraopolis, said the organization of physicians and health care professionals has grown by 44 percent over the past two years because of the gas and oil industry. The industry and its suppliers brought new jobs. (Tribune-Review, 6/23/15)
- Higher Energy Taxes Undercut National Security Priorities: Tony Caldarelli, a veteran from Crawford County who served in Iraq, said he believes a tax on drilling will interfere with efforts to make Pa. into an energy powerhouse. He was at the event on behalf of Vets4Energy. Caldarelli said his military experience has convinced him that the country should do more to avoid sending young people to war to protect its access to Middle Eastern oil. (Meadville Tribune, 6/24/15)
Become a United Shale Advocate today and join thousands of others who support new jobs and a brighter future for generations to come – not even higher energy taxes.