Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued the following statement today in response to a proposal unveiled by Governor Tom Wolf that calls for a severance tax on natural gas extraction.
“Governor Wolf has unveiled a plan to tax natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania which he claims would bring the Commonwealth into line with other gas-producing states. His proposal includes placing a 5 percent severance tax on the value of the gas, plus 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale formation. The plan is modeled after a similar tax imposed on West Virginians.
“I believe his proposal contains many flaws and will explain why. Thanks to Marcellus Shale drilling, struggling communities are finally experiencing economic growth. Specifically in the 46th Senatorial District, Greene County has experienced the second highest growth in employment and wages over the past six years. A severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling would put at risk jobs and countless future projects. Furthermore, comparing other states that have a severance tax in place to Pennsylvania is far-reaching, as our tax structures are completely different.
“Let’s not forget that drillers already pay their fair share including all the taxes common to every other business in Pennsylvania in addition to the impact fee. The impact fee ensures communities such as the ones I represent are adequately compensated for the local impact of natural gas drilling, as well as delivering statewide benefits by providing a portion of the money to environmental protection. As a matter of fact, I talked to several township supervisors and assured them that I will be fighting to keep the impact fee.
“Bottom line: We’re in competition with other states for energy jobs and Governor Wolf’s plan will make us less competitive. I look forward to learning more details of his proposal and advocating in the best interests of not only my constituency, but of all Pennsylvanians.”