No severance levy

Editor: Gov. Tom Wolf recently ran a campaign commercial blasting the natural gas industry: “What lies underneath the ground belongs to the people of Pennsylvania.”

What is he thinking? I am a Pennsylvania landowner in the Marcellus Shale play. He and the rest of Pennsylvania do not own what is underneath my ground. I do.

It is time he takes a full assessment of what the natural gas industry has done and continues to do for our economy. The only thing he seems to focus on is how to tax everything related to the gas industry to the point of driving it out of our commonwealth.

First off, the front lease money and royalties are spent in Pennsylvania businesses. Not only that, they are taxed by federal, state and local governments. The jobs created, the business supported, all pay taxes. The money given to local charities by the gas industry and royalty owners is beyond anything in history. The impact fees to local municipalities have allowed them to upgrade equipment to better serve the communities that have been impacted.

Wolf feels that all of Pennsylvania should get a piece of the pie by implementing a severance tax. All of Pennsylvania feels the positive effect of the gas industry by low energy costs and tax revenues. The natural gas industry and royalty owners are more than handling their part for all of Pennsylvania.

Why doesn’t Wolf try telling the farmers of this state: “What lies beneath the ground belongs to the people of Pennsylvania?”