Montgomery County State Representative Josh Shapiro says natural gas companies should pay a severance tax for the gas they extract from the Marcellus Shale across much of Pennsylvania. He says the tax will not chase them away.
“We’re sitting atop more natural gas, some believe, than any other state in the union, so the drillers aren’t going anywhere. The CEO of EQT, which is one of the largest drilling companies in the world, said, ‘We’re prepared to pay a severance tax. Just tell us what it is.’ If you took West Virginia’s severance tax you’d generate about $300 million in the first year, and by year three you’re generating over a billion dollars, and that keeps stretching out until you run out of natural gas.”
Rather than asking gas drillers to pay for fixing the land they crumble, protect the environment and protect public health, Shapiro says Governor Tom Corbett is asking the taxpayers to foot the bill. He says he’s no fan of raising taxes, but the companies should pay their fair share, as they do in Texas, Alaska and every other state that has natural gas.