Posted March 3, 2015
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That colloquialism should guide Pennsylvania policymakers on energy tax policy.
The commonwealth already has a successful tax system in place that generates significant revenues and local funding from energy development without jeopardizing jobs. As reported by the governor’s Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania continues to increase its natural gas output, producing more natural gas each of the past three years, as the infographic below illustrates:
While production levels, efficiencies and infrastructure continue to help the commonwealth reach its nation-leading natural gas production potential, existing state and local taxes on energy development have generated $2.1 billion and distributed more than $630 million in local impact tax revenue to communities since 2012 – including more than $224 million in just 2014.
Raising production taxes, as Gov. Wolf is proposing, threatens to undermine the transformative economic growth that energy development has brought to the commonwealth. Natural gas development supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, contributes $34.7 billion annually to the state economy and has boosted profits in more than 1,300 businesses of all sizes up and down the energy supply chain.
Piling on duplicative taxes puts all that at risk by making it more costly to do business in Pennsylvania. State leaders should reject any tax proposals that stifle energy production and the jobs that go with it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Reid Porter is a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute. Before joining API, he worked as Account Supervisor at Edelman. Porter double majored in English Literature and the Spanish language at Middlebury College in Vermont. He enjoys traveling, cheering for the Green Bay Packers, soccer, rereading Hemingway novels and spending time with family.