Pennsylvania Democrats Still Hell-bent on Taxing Natural Gas

The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that Pennsylvania Democrats, including Gov. Ed Rendell, are on a mission to tax natural gas drilling in the Marcellus. Let’s name some names, shall we?

House Finance Chairman David Levdansky, D-39, Pittsburgh, and Environmental Resources Chairman Camille George, D-74, Houtzdale, joined with statewide conservation groups Monday to widen the debate over proposed state taxation of natural gas produced by drilling deep pockets in the Marcellus Shale formation, underlying much of western and Northeast Pennsylvania.

Gov. Ed Rendell has proposed a 5 percent severance tax in hopes of generating an estimated $107 million for state coffers. The tax would be levied on the value of natural gas at the well.

Not to be outdone by the government, the so-called conservation groups have their hands out too:

The conservation groups, including PennFuture and Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, say some of that revenue should go for conservation projects, the state Game and Fish and Boat Commissions and to help local governments repair roads.

The coalition isn’t suggesting a specific amount at this point, said Andy Loza, an official with the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association.

And the pièce de résistance:

“Implementing a severance tax on natural gas is a no-brainer,” said Mr. George, who is drafting legislation to set standards for treating water used in drilling.

Taxing the fledgling PA gas industry into oblivion is a real no-brainer for those with no brains!

Read the full article: Shale tax ideas debated