Last week, a PA-Chamber led coalition of business advocacy groups issued letters to Gov. Tom Wolf and the full General Assembly, as well as to freshman state lawmakers, urging them to reject placing punitive new taxes on the natural gas industry to pay for more state spending.
The “Stop New Energy Taxes” coalition has voiced opposition to higher taxes on the energy sector since the start of the Wolf administration. The industry provides much to the Commonwealth and the nation: low-cost, clean energy, good-paying jobs and energy independence. This year, the benefits of the industry are being realized perhaps more than ever before, as materials that can be produced with natural gas have become critical in the fight against COVID-19 – including personal protective equipment that is essential for frontline workers.
“We share the desire to establish fiscal policy that ensures the long-term health of this state as well as the continued recovery of the economy, and therefore must oppose taxes that would dampen investment into what should be one of the state’s brightest spots for growth – an abundant supply of natural gas can be used to power businesses, homes, schools and non-profit organizations across the state and throughout the country,” the coalition wrote, further stressing the benefits that the industry has had in air quality and reductions in greenhouse gases. They also noted that this month marks the ninth anniversary of Act 13 being signed into law, which has to date brought in nearly $2 billion in impact taxes that are assessed on every unconventional gas well drilled in the state. Those funds – which have brought in even more than severance taxes in other states – have gone to every one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and funded a number of important community projects.
Further details on the benefits of the impact tax and the coalition’s efforts to keep the impact tax in place can be viewed on the “Stop New Energy Taxes” coalition website.