Ray of Hope in PA Severance Tax Debate: Lib Dems Attack M-U

MDN has closely followed the effort to pass a dreadful bill in Pennsylvania known as House Bill (HB) 1401, which would tack a 3.2% severance tax on top of the existing ~5% impact tax (called a “fee”) already levied on Marcellus drillers, thereby effectively killing any new Marcellus drilling in the state. Last week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the House debated the bill for two days–then left town “abruptly” without taking any further action (see Update on PA Severance Tax Bill – More Progress, House Leaves Town). What happens now? Mainstream media is doing its best to put on a brave face that the bill is inevitable (see Final Push to Tax PA Drillers & Give Money to Philly Teachers). However, we’ve spotted more than one article in which the liberal Democrats who advocate for this bill are complaining about oil and gas “lobbying” being done in Harrisburg–blaming the big, bad Marcellus industry for continuing to block the bill. We take that as a very good sign–that the lib Dems are moaning and complaining. If they thought they had a prayer of a chance in passing 1401, they wouldn’t lash out in frustration as (for example) PA Rep. Vitali is now doing–lib Dem from the Philadelphia area. Nor would lib Dem newspapers like the Delaware County Daily Times run an “editorial” blaming Republicans playing politics for refusing to do what “everyone knows” should be done–pass a severance tax. These are a sure signs the lib Dems think they’ve lost and will not get the disastrous HB 1401 bill passed. Which makes us break out in a broad smile…

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