Saturday, April 25, 2015

Soapbox Monday: A tax on natural gas drilling?

We want your comments. Let us know if you think Pennsylvania should tax natural gas drilling.

Soapbox Monday: A tax on natural gas drilling?

Gov. Corbett has remained firm on this issue: No state drilling tax for natural gas.

He has had plenty of opposition. Some point out that every other major gas-drilling state levys a tax on drilling. Some say it could plug a few holes in the budget. Or fund increased scrutiny by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Corbett has said that Pennsylvania will benefit financially from drilling in the rich Marcellus shale in other ways -- the jobs created, for instance. He has said that a tax might chase the drillers -- and the associated economic activity -- away.

Last Wednesday, Corbett opened the door crack, saying he might consider an impact tax levied by local communities.

Inquirer reporters Joseph Tanfani and Angela Couloumbis have a story about this issue in this morning's paper.

What do the rest of us think? A statewide poll conducted from March 10 to 14 by Franklin & Marshall College found broad public support. Among 521 adults polled via random dialing, 57 percent of Republicans supported the drilling tax. Even more Democrats and Independents supported it -- 69 percent each.

An earlier poll conducted Feb. 8-17 conducted by the Global Strategy Group and Susquehanna Polling and Research showed that 70 percent of Pennsylvania voters support imposing a tax on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale. A majority -- 52 percent -- said they strongly supported it. The study polled 1,200 registered voters by random dialing.

We'd like to know what you think, and we welcome your comments below.

Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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