In an April 2 editorial (“Markets will support new gas tax”) The Times-Tribune continues its obsession with a massive energy tax increase that would cost good-paying Pennsylvania jobs, increase energy costs for consumers and severely undercut the state’s economic competitiveness.
We agree that Pennsylvania sits atop what is perhaps the world’s second-largest natural gas resource in the Marcellus Shale and that this resource has the opportunity to rewrite the state’s manufacturing future and create long-term economic growth. Following a policy course, however, of higher energy taxes, regulatory delays and additional burdensome red tape will not move Pennsylvania forward.
Pennsylvania’s current natural gas impact fee equates to a 9 percent tax — a critical fact left out of the editorial. This tax — in addition to Pennsylvania having the nation’s second-highest corporate net income tax — has raised more than $1 billion in new revenue for communities, state programs and environmental projects.
A massive energy tax increase would make Pennsylvania the highest-taxed energy state — adding to the cost of new regulations on the industry — and drive investment elsewhere. From regulatory logjams to unnecessary regulatory burdens and energy tax hikes, Pennsylvania does more to drive investment away than welcome it.
If lawmakers are serious about realizing the benefits of natural gas, they should focus on common-sense policies aimed at attracting investment to Pennsylvania instead of discouraging it.
MARCELLUS SHALE COALITION