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Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Others Are Saying..............

Featured Editorial

Pennsylvania is national laughing stock with no gas severance tax

Patriot-News Editorial Board
Oh how they must be laughing at us in Texas and in the executive suites of every major energy company. A year ago, Pennsylvania’s Legislature made a name for itself as the most inept in the country when it took 101 days to pass a state budget. This year, our state lawmakers have succeeded in making the commonwealth the laughingstock of the nation by not enacting a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

As if anyone in Pennsylvania needs a reminder, we are the only natural gas producing state that does not have a severance tax. Actually, New York, our neighbor in the Marcellus Shale, does not have a severance tax either, but that’s because it enacted a complete moratorium on drilling.

In Pennsylvania, our legislative leaders decided not only to continue to allow drilling (including in our precious state forests), but to give away our natural resources for less than any other state.

For the record, passing this severance tax is about a lot more than simply helping to fill the state’s budget hole — estimated to be $5 billion next year — as Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett claims.

It is about ensuring Pennsylvania’s picturesque landscape and communities are not unduly burdened without any financial recourse. It is also about ensuring that gas drillers — most of which are multibillion-dollar corporations — pay their fair share for taking a resource that belongs to all Pennsylvanians.
Our lawmakers have succeeded in putting their personal re-election campaigns and the interests of big business ahead of the people of this state.

This after lawmakers publicly committed to passing a tax by Oct. 1 when they signed the final budget deal in July.

Instead of a tax, we got a blame game. The state House claims it is not at fault because it passed a tax on Marcellus Shale, but the way the tax was passed may not even hold up in court. It was done as an amendment to a bill on something entirely different. There’s a lot of procedural minutiae, but the point is House lawmakers should have known better.

The state Senate blames the House. But if the Senate truly wanted to honor its promise and get this done, its members would have publicly agreed to the compromise the governor was working on last week with all four caucuses. The Senate should have stayed in session until the bill was done. Instead, it left Friday and vows not to come back at all after the election.

The only remaining hope is for the House to pass a stand-alone Marcellus Shale severance tax bill this week and force the Senate to come back before the election or else show the world who truly caved in to special interests. But that is unlikely.

Instead, energy industry executives will go on laughing at Pennsylvania.More....


Anonymous said...

Basically "free" gas to sell at the "taxed" gas price, giving them a bigger profit from Pennsylvania gas.

Mr Realistic said...

You really don't "get it" do you? It is the same with any other commodity. If you tax the supplier , you are only hurting the people because the supplier will just bump up one of their other fees to compensate and Mr Joe Taxpayer still ends up paying for it.

Anonymous said...

New York state has allowed (and still does to this day) the drilling and production of natural gas outside the Marcellus formation without a natural gas extraction tax and nobody has said a word.

It is funny that when Fortuna energy was one of the highest tax payers in Steuben County, as long as the state, county and local agencies were making their money, life was good and nobody complained.

Natural gas companies still pay taxes to every level of government and thousands of landowners are making millions of dollars that are also taxed. Incredibly the government wants more.

Why don't people ask where all the existing tax money is spent rather than bitch that these companies aren't taxed enough. Quietly the state overspends and assists illegals and goes on a mission to demand more.

Articles such as this do nothing but take one uneducated person's opinion and try to push an agenda.

Maybe the state should be focused on oversight of what they have rather than playing the victim and looking for natural gas to bail them out of the hole they have dug.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Pennsylvania is the laughing stock.. at least we have Tom Ridge. Ooopss!

Anonymous said...

I guess it's time to get these people "OUT" of the House & Senate isn't it!!! It's time to ask this question at rallies for new ones trying to get in. Election time is almost here start asking question people!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is our state, and we want it back! We pay our taxes, and pay for your government salaries. Stop giving things away that is not yours! Someone needs to step in and get rid of these crooks! Those are our resources, and we demand to be payed for them.

Anonymous said...

Dear 6:57,

You're an idiot not to see that the severance tax is needed to fund the state's ability to properly oversee this impending disaster to our ecosystem.

You must be a republican that supports big business at the cost of the citizens.

Anonymous said...

Mr Realistic you need to change the name. By your methodology no business is taxed & therefore commodity prices would drop. It you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you!

Anonymous said...


Hey look. He watches Fox.. AND BELIEVES IT!

Keep shilling out those talking points you've been fed.

Anonymous said...

Whether we vote them out or not, we stil have to pay their retirement till they drop over dead.

Anonymous said...

11:50, I guess if I am a Republican then I am an idiot. So if you are a Democrat as obviously you are, that makes you uneducated.

Just to enlighten you a bit, the DEP increased its permitting fees for wells substantially in 2009 from $250 per well to roughly $3,000 plus per well in order to offset the cost for regulation. There has been 651 well permits issued in Bradford County PA alone this year. At 3,000 per well, that is almost $2,000,000 for oversight. Not bad for one county.

Not only did the well permitting fees increase, there are also fees associated with the pipeline and well location (ESCGP-1) permits. In addition to the increased fees, where do you think the money from all the fines that are levied go?

There are also fees associated with the SRBC permits for water withdrawal and consumptive use. These permit applications almost always exceed $10,000. This is the federal agency with oversight to the streams and rivers these wells are drilled near. The natural gas industry has permitted or drilled over 1,000 wells in the last year alone. At 1,000 wells, that is over $10,000

I would say the millions of dollars that are generated as a result of just the permitting fees are a pretty good start to the oversight requirements.

The question I have for you is how much of the extraction tax do you think would actually go to industry oversight? I doubt Rendell and the rest of your Democrat cohorts are going to let it get very far away from Harrisburg unless it is to help the poor and illegals

Do I still sound like an idiot? I have done my homework and have not been regulated to name calling due to a lack of education.

If you are going to go to a battle of wits, at least come armed.

Anonymous said...

"I doubt Rendell and the rest of your Democrat cohorts are going to let it get very far away from Harrisburg unless it is to help the poor and illegals

Do I still sound like an idiot? I have done my homework and have not been regulated to name calling due to a lack of education.

If you are going to go to a battle of wits, at least come armed."

Do you sound like an idiot?

You sound like a parody of yourself, and you probably don't even realize it.

Anonymous said...


He's watching Fox, while you're watching Joy Behar and the View. Keep holding on to your liberal crybaby media. Grow a pair and get a life you may learn something.

FNC – 1,676,000 viewers
CNN – 420,000 viewers
MSNBC – 458,000 viewers
HLN – 266,000 viewers

Anonymous said...


Thank you!

We wise people choose to be informed and watch FOX!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess calling me a parody of myself, rather impressed you know that word, is your way of saying you have no comment because you have no facts.

Thanks for making my argument for me.

Anonymous said...


"well, you watch the View!"
"look at how many people watch my favorite tv channel"

Wow did the maturity thermostat drop fast in here or what?

Also, while you're looking up statistics on news networks, you should check out those pertaining to average knowledge of viewing audiences.

Fox viewers I'm afraid, on average of course, don't fair very well... but then again if there are a lot of dumb people watching Fox, I'm sure none of them are any of you fine people ;-)

Take note on where the money in this country has been getting funneled since the 70's.
I'll give you a clue, it's not to the poor people and their entitlements.

Look at where taxes have gone as well, especially those high brackets.

But sure, you all keep arguing how us good citizens must protect the corporations from being taxed and how at the end of the day it's all the governments fault to begin with.

Good thing the tax rates back in the 50's and 60's were nice and low. You know, the glory days (don't tell anyone the rich faced 90% rates and prospered). But so many of you lived back then you already knew that.

And guessing at the age of some of you posters, us younger people really appreciate you letting the country get sold out the way it was. the last 60 years all it took was a smile and some fear mongering and you just handed the country over without a fight to the interests of the greediest most power hungry 1% out there.

we'll be sure to keep listening to your advise and opinions in the future (LOL!)