In an Aug. 1 editorial, The Times-Tribune demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of basic economics and current market realities. Contrary to the assertions, a proposed increase Pennsylvania’s energy tax on natural gas threatens tens of thousands of good-paying Pennsylvania jobs as well as shale’s broad consumer, environmental and manufacturing benefits.
All 67 counties throughout the commonwealth benefit from responsible shale development through the natural gas impact tax, which has generated more than $850 million since 2011. Specifically, the seven-county Northeast Pennsylvania region received nearly $65 million in impact tax revenues since 2011 that local leaders have used to improve the environment and boost road and bridge improvement projects.
Shale development delivers tangible consumer benefits. A recent Brookings Institution study concluded our abundant and affordable supplies of natural gas have “improved the economic well-being of consumers by $74 billion per year.” Thanks to expanded natural gas infrastructure development, our region’s building trades union members find more opportunities for good work with family-supporting wages and benefits.
In reality, higher energy taxes will drive away capital investment to unlock our region’s abundant energy resources. With that reduction in investment comes fewer jobs and less opportunity for the state. Energy policies that encourage responsible shale development and greater natural gas use, particularly as it relates to revitalizing our manufacturing sector, will benefit all Pennsylvanians.
Erica Clayton Wright
Marcellus Shale Coalition
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