The Aug. 12 editorial “Plunging oil, stock prices weigh on Pa. severance tax” asked whether it is “prudent” to enact a massive energy tax increase.
Pennsylvanians — local government officials and consumers as well as union members and small businesses — have a clear answer: Now is the absolute worst time to raise Pennsylvania’s energy tax on natural gas to the nation’s highest.
In addition to the nearly 250,000 good-paying Pennsylvania jobs tied to or supported by the natural gas industry, shale is delivering broad local benefits in the form of lower energy costs, more opportunity for small businesses and huge amounts of tax revenue benefiting our communities.
In fact, the commonwealth’s shale impact tax has generated more than $850 million for all 67 counties, including $15.4 million for Butler County.
Our region’s union workforce agree too. Jim Kunz of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 recently said that natural gas development has been “a godsend” for his union members. Dennis Martire of the Laborers’ International Union of North America has said that shale production is “a lifeline to family-supporting jobs.”
Make no mistake, even higher energy taxes will cost good-paying jobs, jeopardize shale’s broad benefits and slow our region’s economic recovery.
Further, Gov. Tom Wolf’s massive energy tax increase proposal coupled with new onerous regulations discourages capital investment when we need it most.
Erica Clayton Wright
Marcellus Shale Coalition
NOTE: Click HERE to view this letter online.