Et tu Brute? PA Rep. Garth Everett Falls for Severance Tax Trap

We have long admired Pennsylvania State Rep. Garth Everett, Republican from Muncy (Lycoming County), PA. Everett has been in the forefront of trying to get “minimum royalty” legislation passed that would guarantee PA landowners would get minimum royalty payments of 12.5%–regardless of any kind of post-production expenses. He’s been introducing a bill to do just that for the past three sessions (six years), the most recent attempt this year in February (see PA Rep. Garth Everett Reintroduces Minimum Royalty Bill, 3rd Time). Although Everett’s stance on the minimum royalty bill has him at odds with the drilling industry, he has always struck us as pro-gas and a friend to the industry. So we were particularly saddened to read Everett is now voicing support for a Marcellus-killing severance tax. Perhaps Everett has been influenced by fellow Lycoming County politico State Sen. Gene Yaw, who sold out the industry by supporting a severance tax during the recent budget votes (see Traitorous PA Senate Republicans Pass Severance Tax Bill). MDN note: Sen. Yaw reached out to MDN several times with caustic comments, taking issue with our view of his betrayal of the industry. Or maybe Everett’s newfound love of taxation has happened in response to the industry vigorously opposing his minimum royalty bill for the past six years, i.e. revenge. Whatever the reason, Everett is now saying he supports a severance tax–as long as the tax can’t be deducted from landowner royalties…

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