Senator Bartolotta Comments on Gov. Wolf’s Visit, Severance Tax Plan

HARRISBURG — Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued the following statement today in response to Governor Wolf’s visit to Trinity East Elementary School in Washington County and his latest publicity stunt urging support for a proposal which calls for a severance tax on natural gas extraction.

“The Governor has proposed one of the most oppressive severance taxes in the nation. His tax uses an artificial floor on the price of natural gas unlike other states. While prices have recently hovered around $1.20/MCF, the Governor wants to tax them at a rate of $2.97/MCF. That’s an effective tax rate of closer to 15 percent.

“At a time when natural gas prices are extremely low, new investment is minimal and energy companies are having to layoff workers and reduce hours, the Governor’s severance tax proposal serves as a nail in the coffin for job creators in the region.

“His rhetoric ignores the fact 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.

“Natural gas development has generated 245,000 jobs in the state since 2007. Here 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 immediately put these jobs at risk.”

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CONTACT: Katrina Anderson, 717.787.1463