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All the details matter

No doubt it was encouraging for residents impacted by flooding from Grafius Run to see state DEP Secretary Pat McDonnell visit Williamsport recently. Residents have had to deal with repeated flooding issues that are disruptive to their lives and damaging to their property.

This visit was not unique. The Wolf Administration has been traveling the state for months, highlighting sensitive projects in local communities and then proclaiming that a solution will only come if we jack up taxes on job creators in the energy industry. Too often, this plays on the emotions of local citizens all for the benefit of advancing a political agenda.

What’s particularly disappointing is what Secretary McDonnell did not say: that despite claims to the contrary, Pennsylvania does have a tax on natural gas drillers and this money can be used — right now — to fix critical flooding problems. To date, $1.7 billion has been paid by drilling companies. Communities in Lycoming County have received over $84 million; the city of Williamsport received $565,000 itself in July. Any of this money can be used for projects like Grafius Run.

Ironically, a $50,000 grant for Grafius Run previously was approved by the Wolf Administration from a separate pot of drilling tax money administered by the state. Because the grant didn’t advance the narrative, the Wolf Administration didn’t even issue a press release.

Sometimes, it really is about what’s not said.

Matthew Henderson

Montoursville

Submitted via Virtual Newsroom

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