What Pennsylvania needs

State Rep. Rick Mirabito’s recent claims regarding proposed new energy taxes on shale development (“Lawmaker weighs in on severance tax debate,” July 17) are unsupported by basic economic realities that inform business decisions.

To be clear: New job-crushing energy taxes will not only harm landowners and small businesses, but will also undercut future job-creating benefits that the entire Commonwealth and Lycoming County are already realizing.

While the Marcellus Shale is the largest natural gas field in the United States, it’s one of many shale formations across the country and around the world that competes fiercely for capital investment. Mr. Mirabito’s claim that “companies won’t simply pull up an entire drilling rig and leave Pennsylvania” runs counter to quite recent history.

By increasing the cost of doing business in one formation, some rigs — and the associated jobs and supply chain benefits that come in the form of small business opportunities for Pennsylvanians — will move elsewhere with a more competitive environment. We saw this following the implementation of the 2012 impact fee tax, as rigs left Pennsylvania at alarming rates, and will surely see it again if a new energy tax were to be layered on top of that, which is what Mr. Mirabito is seeking.

Lycoming County is a shining example of how Pennsylvania is getting this historic opportunity nation-leading job creation and low unemployment, huge amounts of new tax and fee revenues, small business growth. Pennsylvania needs more jobs, not new energy taxes. And according to public opinion polls, Pennsylvanians agree.

Dave Spigelmyer


Marcellus Shale Coalition

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom