Gina Severcool Suydam
Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce
Pennsylvania gas drillers have already been paying their fair share of energy taxes; any further taxation will cost jobs and hurt local communities.
A recent Times-Tribune editorial (“Regressive taxes to grow,” Nov. 12) misleadingly claims that the natural gas industry is “shielded from fair taxation.” In truth, Pennsylvania’s unique impact fee has provided, and continues to provide, significant and much-needed revenue for communities across the commonwealth, especially here in Wyoming County.
The development of shale gas has also brought millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements in the form of roads, drainage and bridge projects and charitable investments.
Higher energy taxes would in no uncertain terms hurt local small business jobs and discourage rather than encourage expanded manufacturing opportunities tied to affordable natural gas.
Shale’s local benefits were highlighted in a recent Dartmouth College study, which notes that the industry — and the thousands of family-sustaining jobs it has created — helped blunt the recession’s harsh economic impacts. Respectfully, where’s the editorial on that important data?
The truth is, we don’t need even higher energy taxes that will harm jobs and sting consumers as well as small businesses with higher costs. We need policies that encourage the safe development of shale gas, which will drive our economy for years to come.