The great debate between the shale gas industry and Governor Tom Wolf regarding Wolf’s proposed gas tax is still going strong, but the industry has taken things to a new level and is reaching people through their television screens.
As reported by State Impact Pennsylvania, “The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, which leads a coalition of groups opposing the shale gas tax, has begun running an ad against Governor Wolf’s proposal in the Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Wilkes Barre/Scranton media markets. The TV spot, launched Monday, is part of the Chamber’s ‘Stop New Energy Taxes’ campaign, an effort to beat back Wolf’s plan to tax Marcellus Shale production at five percent, with an additional 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet.”
According to Wolf, the gas tax would bring in $1 billion, and most of it will be put towards education, but that’s not even close to what the TV ad focuses on. The ad emphasizes how the tax will cost “tens of thousands of jobs,” how it will be the highest tax throughout the U.S. The money brought in from it, will go to Harrisburg rather than urgent local projects. The final point the ad places focus on is the states’ current impact fee. The money brought it by the fee is directed back towards local towns that are located in areas that have gas drilling operations. During 2013, the impact fee yielded $224 million for rural communities, and according to Wolf the money will not disappear because the severance tax would replace the impact fee.
The following is the industry’s TV ad, and to read State Impact Pennsylvania’s full story on the great severance tax debate, click here.