Letters to the Editor, Oct. 20, 2020

October 20, 2020
The Daily Review

Stop the severance tax

Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, reached almost 7 trillion cubic feet in 2019, making us the second-largest natural gas producer after Texas. That is great news for Pennsylvanians because the natural gas industry has yielded real benefits for the people of our commonwealth. Families have been sustained by the jobs created within the industry or supported by oil and gas workers. Local governments have been able to improve the quality of life for their taxpayers without raising taxes.

We've also lowered greenhouse gas emissions as more and more of our power is generated by cleaner burning, abundant natural gas. In fact, our natural gas-fired power plants surpassed nuclear power as the largest provider of in-state electricity for the first time last year.

The benefits of our locally-sourced energy are inarguable, but that hasn’t stopped certain individuals from attacking the industry. The attacks I’m most concerned with are not the ones that come from the "keep it in the ground" extremists. What concerns me the most are the attacks that come from within our own government and particularly from Gov. Wolf.

Wolf has been relentless in his desire to tax this industry into oblivion with a severance tax. I feel strongly that Gov. Wolf must never succeed in this. If he is successful in creating this new energy tax it will result in higher energy prices for consumers and less jobs for Pennsylvanians – something Pennsylvania couldn’t afford on its best day, let alone while we are navigating our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bill Cotton

ATHENS BOROUGH