Senators Try to Remove Sev. Tax Stain by Chiding Wolf re DRB Vote

Following yesterday’s vote by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to take the first step in a permanent ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin (DRB), reaction from those who support drilling was swift. The American Petroleum Institute issued a statement saying, among other things, that the DRBC’s intention to permanently ban fracking in the DRB is “bad public policy.” More than a few Pennsylvania legislators took issue with PA Gov. Wolf’s vote to endorse a permanent frack ban. Three ranking State Senators–Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Chair Gene Yaw, ripped into Wolf with a joint press release yesterday, saying they “strongly objected” to Wolf’s vote. The three said a permanent ban on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin is “arbitrary, short-sighted and a blow to economic development, job-creation and landowner’s rights.” We appreciate their support. However, those same three Senators recently sold out the gas industry when they voted for a severance tax. They were part of the high-tax cabal that made the job of the House that much harder (thank God the House passed a no-severance-tax budget yesterday, see today’s companion story). While we appreciate the Senators’ support on the DRB frack ban issue, their bloviating against Wolf on the frack ban vote doesn’t remove the stain of their betrayal of the gas industry in voting for the severance tax. All three Senators need to go at the next primary…

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