Natural gas development and impact tax are already “Restoring Pennsylvania”

 HARRISBURG, Pa. (Feb. 5) – Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association President & Executive Director Dan Weaver today issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to place a severance tax on unconventional natural gas extraction to fund $4.5 billion for infrastructure improvements that have nothing to do with energy production:
“Governor Wolf was blatantly disingenuous in making the claim that his budget proposal includes ‘no new taxes,’ as he omitted his plan accompanying his budget to propose a natural gas severance tax to fund his ‘Restoring Pennsylvania’ initiative. While these infrastructure and public investment priorities have merit, it is preposterous to demand that natural gas producers be responsible for paying for them through a punitive severance tax aimed primarily at privately owned resources that do not belong to ‘all Pennsylvanians.’
“‘Restoring Pennsylvania’ is what natural gas developers have been doing here for the past decade.  The economic activity generated through energy development has restored the economies of dozens of counties and spurred huge private investments from Beaver County to Philadelphia.  Manufacturers and natural gas drilling service companies have come into the state and hired tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians. The Impact Tax, which no other segment of Pennsylvania’s economy pays and no other gas producing state has, is restoring public assets and funding development projects in communities in all 67 of the state’s counties.
“Placing another tax on top of the existing taxes paid by natural gas producers ­- not by out-of-state consumers – means energy production will decrease, taking jobs, new revenue and economic activity along with it.  There are multiple shale plays across the country with far more attractive financial and regulatory environments than what we have in Pennsylvania, and this new tax will be applauded by states eager to welcome the drilling rigs and jobs that will be leaving the Commonwealth.
“The governor tried to use a little sleight of hand in his address today by putting this new tax scheme in a proposal accompanying the budget, rather than in the budget itself, which is politics as usual.  Pennsylvania should hold the line on any additional taxes on natural gas producers and seek to improve the overall competitiveness of its business climate.”