PA Senate GOP Leaders Stab Gas Industry with Severance Tax Plan

Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati have betrayed the Marcellus gas industry and should be tossed out on their rear-ends in the next election. Corman, Scarnati and other so-called Republicans in the PA Senate leadership have signed on to promote a severance tax plan to “close” the budget gap THEY CREATED by idiotically passing a bloated spending plan they couldn’t pay for. Now, caving to pressure from a tax-and-spend liberal media and tax-and-spend Democrat Party, PA Senate Republicans have opened a door that should never have been opened. PA’s Marcellus drillers already pay the equivalent of a 9.16% severance tax–highest in the country (called an impact fee). This new plan leaves the impact fee in place, AND places a severance tax on top of it, guaranteeing LESS drilling (and less tax money) for PA, not more. How utterly stupid is that? Last night 19 members of the PA Senate Appropriations Committee voted on a plan that, among other things, puts a 2 cents per thousand cubic feet severance tax on all natural gas produced, which, according to the wizards of smart in the Senate, will raise an extra $108 million. Today the package goes to the full Senate for a vote, where it is expected to pass. It then goes to the House. If a severance tax is passed (big if), Gov. Wolf can finally “check a box on a campaign promise” to give away other people’s money to teacher’s unions. Our only line of defense now is the steel backbone of PA House Speaker Mike Turzai and the House Republicans, to hold the line and reject the severance tax proposal coming from the Senate…

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