Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Consumers Would Pay the Price for a Gas Severance Tax

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Consumers Would Pay the Price for a Gas Severance Tax

Article excerpt

A couple of weeks ago, you reprinted a Scranton Times-Tribune editorial advocating a natural gas severance tax ("As Others See It: Impact Fee Folly," May 23).

The Times-Tribune likely sees impact fees as folly because the city of Scranton doesn't get much - $750 in 2013. By contrast, the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania got something north of $40 million. Envy is a great motivator.

The impact fee compensates producing counties for the impact drilling and distribution have on their local roads, streams, etc. So there's a moral logic to it.

Unfortunately, the 37 producing counties only have 34 percent of Pennsylvania's people. Thus we have only (roughly) 34 percent of the votes in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

The severance tax would go into the state's General Fund to be doled out by said beloved and bloated state Legislature. …

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