PennFuture praises state House for passage of natural gas severance tax that helps funds Growing Greener, urges Senate to consider bill immediately to Keep the Promise made to the citizens

PennFuture praises state House for passage of natural gas severance tax that helps funds Growing Greener, urges Senate to consider bill immediately to Keep the Promise made to the citizens

(Harrisburg, PA – September 29, 2010) – Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) today praised the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for its passage of SB 1155, a significant extraction tax on deep natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation that also funds Growing Greener, local governments impacted by drilling, wildlife management agencies, hazardous sites cleanup and county conservation districts, and the General Fund. The measure passed by a vote of 104 to 92. This action allows the tax to be considered by the State Senate before it adjourns for the year.

“Thanks to heroic effort by Representative Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) insisting that SB 1155 include substantial revenue for Growing Greener, and the support of both Democratic and Republican House members, the House has kept its promise to the citizens to pass a bill by October 1,” said Jan Jarrett, PennFuture’s president and CEO. “Now it’s up to the Senate. We urge the Senate to act quickly, and preserve both the significant tax in this legislation and the money for Growing Greener, local communities and the other specified agencies.

“This is a reasonable and robust tax,” continued Jarrett. “It allows the drilling industry to flourish, while compensating the citizens for the use of the state’s natural resources. We have had daily reminders of the risks to our environment and local communities from drilling, so it is only fair that a portion of this new tax revenue go to environmental protection and local communities.

“Many of our elected officials, particularly Representatives Dave Levdansky (D-Washington, Allegheny) and Camille “Bud” George (D-Clearfield), helped create the general framework in this bill, and it must be retained in the Senate,” said Jarrett.

“All eyes now turn to the Senate,” said Jarrett. “We call on the Senate to keep the robust tax on drilling in this bill and the split of this new revenue. Our environment, our communities, and our citizens depend on it.”

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization that works to protect and promote Pennsylvania’s environment and economy. 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 was dubbed “the state’s leading environmental advocacy organization” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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