Severance Tax Battle in PA Heats Up One More (Last?) Time

As MDN reported last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, an extremely partisan Democrat, is once again beating the drum for a Marcellus Shale-killing severance tax in the last of his annual budgets (see PA Gov. Wolf Broken Record: Proposes Budget with Severance Tax). At least, we hope it’s Wolf’s last budget and that Pennsylvanians won’t be foolish enough to re-elect him for another four years (fool me once…). Wolf’s plan, in a nutshell, is to tax drillers (and by extension, landowners) to the tune of $250 million a year, and give that money away to teachers and their unions in the Philadelphia region–the people who elected him to office. We spotted dueling newspaper editorials from last week–one from the (sometimes) conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the other from the (always) liberal Democrat-owned Scranton Times-Tribune. Below are those editorials illustrating clear-headed thinking, and muddled thinking (respectively), along with a January column co-written by the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry laying out the case against a severance tax in the Keystone State. Unfortunately this is an ongoing battle we must fight every single year. But fight it we must…

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