Forget severance tax

Dear Gov. Wolf: I took an Advanced Placement economics class at Bethel Park High School during my senior year. One takeaway from this course was learning the value of growing the economy.

Stimulating the economy is done best by attracting folks to the region and having them set up shop there. If you have more people moving to the region, more individuals will be working, and more money will be circulating.

This situation sounds a lot like what's going on in the Pennsylvania oil and gas industry.

I graduated from high school in 2014 and went on to Penn State University to study petroleum engineering. I have found a niche in this industry, as I now work as an intern with a major operator.

Driving from different job sites, I have seen local towns' economies transformed in amazing ways. Every day for lunch, I stop at a locally owned deli and nearby hardware store. I am personally injecting the money I have earned from the oil and gas industry into small towns.

If you implement this severance tax, you will strip away all the good that has been slowly and carefully built in Pennsylvania. Those booming small-town economies won't be thriving for much longer.

Why are you trying to hurt my chances of landing a shale job in Pennsylvania? I would love to graduate from Penn State and enter the workforce in my hometown, Pittsburgh, which I love dearly.

Let's keep jobs in small-town communities throughout Pennsylvania.