“Unfortunately, some candidates for office have embraced misguided, job-crushing policies that would throw a wet blanket on this positive, widespread progress,” the MSC wrote in a release.
“Specifically, these candidates refuse to recognize or acknowledge that other major energy-producing states with a severance tax do not have a corporate net income tax or have far more competitive corporate tax structures than Pennsylvania’s, which has among the nation’s highest rates.”
All of the Democratic hopefuls have more or less embraced some form of new tax on gas production.
But the MSC’s Thursday statement followed a Wednesday announcement by Allyson Schwartz that she would seek to fund her infrastructure spending proposal with a five percent severance tax on natural gas drilling. Governor Corbett’s re-election campaign criticized her proposal.
Former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty revealed her energy platform included a “reasonable severance tax” on Marcellus Shale extraction Friday.
A recent Mercyhurst poll found that 70% of Pa. residents who had heard of Marcellus shale support a tax on it.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign forwarded the MSC statement to reporters.
“Whether it’s a massive tax increase or a proposal to ban natural gas development altogether, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and our opponents’ plans would stifle economic growth and community investment and threaten the jobs of over 200,000 hardworking Pennsylvanians,” added Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley.
If drilling companies are wary of Democratic candidates, it’s a good sign for Corbett. The Governor will rely on strong support from the energy industry to help raise the money he’ll need for a tough re-election fight next year.