For Immediate Release
June 23, 2015
Business, education, labor and consumers come together to highlight the benefits of responsible shale gas development for Pennsylvania jobs and the economy
HARRISBURG - Hardworking Pennsylvanians from manufacturing, small business, education, labor and supply chain companies stood united today in the Capitol Rotunda to highlight the economic and job creation benefits of responsible shale gas development. Hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the press conference brought together a diverse coalition of more than 20 organizations to communicate to members of the General Assembly and the Wolf Administration that higher energy taxes will hinder economic growth and put good paying jobs at risk.
“Shale development has jumpstarted Pennsylvania’s economy – creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr. “Employers from all regions of the state across various industry sectors have seen their businesses grow directly because of the natural gas industry. But higher energy taxes will stunt our Commonwealth’s economic growth and jeopardize the success of our state’s fastest-growing industry. It is important that we work together on driving new investment here by keeping our competitive impact tax in place and developing the infrastructure needed to cement the Commonwealth’s status as a world-class energy hub.”
“LiUNA members have seen first-hand the benefits Shale development has brought to Pennsylvania,” said Dave Horn, LECET business development, LiUNA - Eastern PA District Council. “With employment opportunities directly tied to the natural gas and supply chain industries, our members are gainfully employed. Natural gas development has brought good jobs with good wages for our members. We want to see this industry continue to grow in order to create more jobs, including for workers currently in our training programs.”
As of 2014, more than 243,000 Pennsylvanians have been employed as a result of the natural gas industry. The average core industry salary stands at $93,000 per year. Additionally, the natural gas industry has helped to generate more than $2 billion in tax revenues for the state. This is on top of the more than $850 million that has been collected under the current impact tax, which, according to the Independent Fiscal Office, is equivalent to a 4.7 percent severance tax and is benefitting local communities across all 67 Pennsylvania counties. Despite the clear economic gains resulting from responsible shale gas development, some Harrisburg policymakers are quick to propose even higher energy taxes that threaten to drive natural gas drillers to other states in the shale play. In fact, according to a recent report by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office, the Wolf administration’s energy tax proposal would levy the highest-in-the-nation effective rate on the industry.
“Dawood is proud to be a Pennsylvania company, with the great majority of our employees working and living in Pennsylvania,” said Dawood Engineering, Inc. President Bony Dawood. “They earn family-sustaining wages. We invest the profits of our business in our people and our company, and we pay our fair share of taxes. We are proud to work with many operators to safely design, permit, and build new energy infrastructure. For companies like Dawood, enacting a punitive tax on natural gas will have a negative impact on our ability to do business.” Dawood is headquartered in Enola, PA with Pennsylvania offices in Wayne, Sayre and Canonsburg.
“Because of the gas and oil industry, Allegheny Medical has grown 44 percent over the past two years,” said Allegheny Medical Integrated Health Services Director of Corporate Health Melissa Hodge. “Health and safety plays a major role and is critical for compliance with the strict regulations that the industry has to abide by. The jobs created are Pennsylvania jobs, family sustaining jobs; medical providers, medical assistants, x-ray technicians, medical billing and scheduling positions, all added as a result of the increase in business for the gas and oil industry and their midstream suppliers.”
A recent Natural Resource Economics, Inc. study found an additional tax on the natural gas industry could result in the loss of 6,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2016 alone. That figure grows to 18,000 by 2025. The study also found that a severance tax will reduce the number of wells drilled by more than 1,000, leading to a cumulative loss of more than $20 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy between 2016 and 2025.
“The natural gas industry is key to the U.S. finally achieving energy security,” said Capt. Tony Caldarelli, U.S. Army, retired. “The development of the Marcellus Shale play accounts for almost 40 percent of the nation’s natural gas production. To impede its development at this critical time will put America’s energy independence and national security and at risk, and this would put our service men and women at risk, again. We have it right here, in the palm of our hand. We as a nation have been trying to achieve energy independence, for all the right reasons, since the 1970's. Why would we give that up?"
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.