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API-PA: Natural gas tax could harm consumers, jobs and development

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

API-PA Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman criticised Governor Wolf’s renewed call for a severance tax on the natural gas industry in the Commonwealth. “Once again, Governor Wolf has renewed his call for a punitive and additional tax on the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania,” said Wissman. “Contrary to the governor’s claims, the natural gas industry already pays its ‘fair share’ and then some to the Commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania is the only state that requires an additional impact tax that is collected from every shale drilling site in the state. The impact tax alone has distributed more than US$800 million in just four years, the bulk of which goes directly to local communities. No other extraction industry has such a tax levied upon them in Pennsylvania.

“This winter consumers throughout the commonwealth are benefiting from record low energy prices,” said Wissman. “The shale revolution that was born in Pennsylvania has saved consumers an estimated US$1200/y per household. A homegrown, successful natural gas industry has saved consumers money and has created thousands of jobs all while utilising clean burning natural gas developed right here in Pennsylvania. Even as natural gas production has risen dramatically, methane emissions have fallen, thanks to industry leadership and investment in new technologies. Yet, while prices are at their lowest in decades, this historic opportunity is threatened as Governor Wolf refuses to steer away from higher energy taxes that would damage Pennsylvania’s economic recovery and future competitive edge.”

“Let’s be abundantly clear, any future energy tax threatens development in Pennsylvania, destroys more jobs and exponentially reduces local revenues that can pay for education, transportation, healthcare, and other state programs. The governor should focus on choosing forward looking pro-energy policies that will continue to benefit the commonwealth and its citizens” concluded Wissman.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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