PA State Rep. Garth Everett seemed to be slinking toward a severance tax to advance a bill of his own, but didn’t. It’s all very puzzling, like Garth Everett.
UPDATE 12/13/17: Rep. Garth Everett informs me he voted AGAINST the severance tax bill yesterday despite it NOT having the minimum royalty language in it. Needless to say, we thank him.
There something very strange going on with Pennsylvania Representative Garth Everett of Muncy (Lycoming County) who has been making noises of late about maybe supporting a severance tax on shale gas production. It’s a strange position for a Lycoming County politician to take, given the importance of the industry to his constituency.
Any severance tax, despite Gov. Wolf’s protestations to the contrary, would have to come out of the pockets of landowners. Natural gas companies are, after all price takers, not price makers, and, therefore, have no choice, if they want to stay in business in the Commonwealth, but to ask landowners to share in those costs. If they can’t do that, they simply won’t produce. It’s that simple. One cannot legislate changes in the laws of economics, a fact Everett surely knows.
But, landowners are Everett’s political base, so why the flirting with a concept nothing short of anathema to them? That’s just the beginning of the puzzlement that is Garth Everett.