MSC in Phila. Daily News: Higher Energy Taxes Will Threaten Growth

Friday’s editorial, “Who Do They Work For?” provides a misleading representation of natural-gas development in Pennsylvania, while completely ignoring the meaningful economic and environmental contributions Marcellus Shale development has delivered for the commonwealth.

Philadelphians don’t have to look far to see the benefits. Thanks to shale, refineries in South Philadelphia and Delaware County that were on the verge of being shuttered for good are back in business. This transformation is sparking new manufacturing growth, good-paying jobs – especially for our region’s building trade union members – and a stronger regional economy.

Those who receive a Philadelphia Gas Works and PECO bill each month are also seeing the benefits of the Marcellus Shale through lower utility bills. In fact, a recent audit determined PGW could save as much as $9.4 million a year if it sourced more gas locally, a savings that would ultimately benefit consumers.

Despite your paper’s claims, Pennsylvania’s natural-gas impact tax has generated more than $850 million for all 67 counties, including Philadelphia. Additionally, shale development has generated more than $2.1 billion in state tax revenue, and development on state-owned lands has generated more than $1 billion in bonus payments and royalties for the commonwealth since 2008.

Further, the paper offers a fundamental misunderstanding of simple economics in its call to increase energy taxes. While it’s true the shale beneath our feet isn’t going anywhere, the capital investment – and good-paying, family-supporting jobs – needed to unlock Pennsylvania’s abundant shale resources absolutely will if Harrisburg increases energy taxes.

Encouraging greater natural-gas end uses, especially among our manufacturing sector, will improve our economy, support additional jobs and, yes, generate more revenue. A good place to start is the proposed energy hub in Philadelphia.

 Erica Clayton Wright
Marcellus Shale Coalition
Pittsburgh, Pa. 

NOTE: Click HERE to view this letter online.