Pennsylvania is the only natural gas producing state that does not impose a severance tax on oil and gas. As it stands, Pennsylvania gas is being used by citizens in other states tax free while Pennsylvanians have to pay taxes on gas from other states.
Beginning with his campaign for governor in 2014, Governor Wolf has repeatedly called for the legislature to pass this common sense tax that has been adopted in states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. As The Morning Call describes:
“Every year since being in office, Wolf has proposed a severance tax on natural gas drillers who already pay an impact fee on wells.”
Republican opposition in Harrisburg is rooted in politics, not in the best interest of the state. Earlier this year, the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed that legislators have received over $60 million dollars from natural gas lobbyists.
Harrisburg Republicans have repeatedly thwarted the governor’s attempts of imposing a shale tax because they want to score political points. But Governor Wolf will not allow them to play games with the economic wellbeing of Pennsylvanians. This tax is common sense and would benefit Pennsylvanians while taxing big oil. In fact, the Independent Fiscal Office has said that 80% of the revenue raised by a severance tax would be paid by customers outside of Pennsylvania.
Unlike the Republicans, Governor Wolf would rather see Pennsylvania succeed than his opponents fail. A severance tax is the most reliable, common-sense means for balancing the state’s budget and putting more money into education. The Governor is devoted to continuing his fight for passing a severance tax.