Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association President and Executive Director Louis D. D’Amico today vowed to fight for the future of natural gas production and employment in the Commonwealth, standing up to Governor Tom Wolf’s threat of a moratorium in announcing plans to tax the industry:

 “Governor Wolf’s statement from last week’s news conference, ‘the alternative is not really no tax, the alternative is no drilling, a ban as in the case of New York,’ spoke volumes about what is tantamount to extortion against an industry that is currently producing 20 percent of our nation’s natural gas,” said D’Amico. “We heard his message, and our message in response is that PIOGA will fight to save the jobs, economic growth and unprecedented energy production now taking place in the Commonwealth, regardless of this threat.

 “We have been through this before, when our industry fought a severance tax proposed by the Rendell administration and received undue attention and excessive delays from certain state agencies” added D’Amico. “Given the return of several former Rendell-era leaders to this administration, we are prepared to face similar tactics in the months ahead, but it will not deter us from opposing a tax that will put 250,000 jobs at risk or from fighting a moratorium on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

 “We fight to preserve the biggest job-creating industry in Pennsylvania. We fight to preserve the rights and value of mineral owners in the Commonwealth. We fight to protect the 20 percent of our nation’s natural gas supply coming from Pennsylvania that a moratorium endangers. We fight for the communities hosting our industry and those communities’ economies. We fight to continue Americans supplying energy, instead of receiving supplies from areas hostile to the U.S. We fight for energy consumers in Pennsylvania threatened with higher energy costs driven by this governor and his administration,” D’Amico said.