Letters to the Editor: Now's not time to slap tax on Pa.'s growing energy

As the state continues to grapple with persistent budget issues year after year, some have continued to call for an additional tax on the energy industry. Yet these calls continue to ignore that the state’s unemployment rate has been above the national average for the past two years, with job losses coming from blue-collar jobs, like those in the skilled trades, construction, mining and manufacturing.

Using our domestic energy resources will help us become more secure in an increasingly insecure world, as well as build a stable economy for many.

Economic growth will put the state on a path to sustainability; a severance tax will not – in fact, punitive taxes on one of the brighter spots of our economy would set us backward.

Building markets here in Pennsylvania and abroad for our energy resources should be the focus. We have the capability to use all our natural resources – including coal, gas, nuclear, wind and solar – to attract new investment – not just in manufacturing, but in new and emerging markets, such as the technology sector, data processing, robotics, alternative-fuel vehicles and more. Cheap and abundant energy allows our state and country to compete on a global basis.

As Pennsylvania ages and our youngest and brightest minds leave the state, this state needs policies that will drive innovation and jobs, not chase them away.

Kevin Sunday, Director, Government Affairs, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry