Subsidizing gas industry

Once again, citizens of our Commonwealth are going to pay to subsidize the gas industry, instead of the other way round. Thanks to our governor and state legislature. How ironic is it that we live atop billions of dollars of gas, yet because Harrisburg refuses to pass a severance tax, we must all pay extra-high fuel taxes and vehicle fees?

Gov. Corbett’s bill provides for badly needed infrastructure repairs, but in many places those repairs are necessary because gas industry vehicles use our roads and bridges so heavily they accelerate aging and deterioration. A reasonable tax on natural gas extraction would pay for those repairs.

Alaska, Sarah Palin’s state, gets enough money from its energy industry that its citizens pay no state income or sales taxes, and its gasoline tax is the lowest in the nation. Severance taxes pay for education, infrastructure, public safety, and all the other functions of state government. Yet the oil industry isn’t threatening to leave the North Slope because of its taxes. Pennsylvanians already pay some of the highest state gasoline taxes in the U.S., and soon they will be even higher. High taxes like this drive business out of the state and contribute to unemployment.

The emperors of the energy industry, already incredibly rich, keep getting richer. The people who run our state government are tied to the industry through campaign contributions and lobbying. So they pass legislation that makes

Arno Vosk, M.D.


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom