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PennFuture calls out Senate Republican leaders for stalling on Marcellus Shale drilling tax

PennFuture calls out Senate Republican leaders for stalling on Marcellus Shale drilling tax

(Harrisburg, PA – October 12, 2010) – Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) today condemned the attempt by the Senate Republican leaders to kill the tax on Marcellus Shale drilling while claiming they want to pass a tax.

“Senator Joseph Scarnati and the other Republican leaders are trying to have it both ways,” said Jan Jarrett, PennFuture’s president and CEO. “They claim they are working to pass a severance tax, but using every excuse they can think of why they can’t. Now they’re claiming the severance tax bill passed by the House cannot be used because of constitutional problems. But they have several legislative options they could use to get this done.”

“This attempt to run out the clock is both transparent and cynical, and is an insult to the intelligence of Pennsylvanians,” continued Jarrett. “Nearly 80 percent of state residents want a robust severance tax passed this year, and they are unlikely to look favorably on any elected official who keeps the tax from passing.

“The Legislative Reference Bureau – the nonpartisan group charged with drafting all legislation – basically said problems with the bill can be fixed,” continued Jarrett. “The bureau further pointed out a number of other bills that the Senate could use to pass a severance tax.

“The Senate leaders have no excuses for failing to act on the severance tax,” continued Jarrett. “Pennsylvanians know that the drillers have spent millions in campaign contributions and high-powered lobbyists to cripple the tax. If the Senate runs out the clock and avoids passing a tax, our citizens should be as angry as they were over the 2005 midnight pay raise.
“We urge the Senate to do what their constituents overwhelmingly want them to do – pass a robust severance tax on drilling in the Marcellus Shale without delay,” continued Jarrett. “On this one, all Pennsylvanians are sure to remember.”

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization that advances policies to protect and improve the state’s environment and economy. With offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, West Chester, and Wilkes-Barre, PennFuture’s activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level, public education, and assisting citizens in public advocacy. PennFuture has experts and attorneys, outreach workers and communicators, policy experts and educators, all working with local groups and citizens across the state to adopt and enforce great public policy. Our motto is “Every environmental victory grows the economy.” The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the state’s “leading environmental advocacy organization.”


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