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Waters in favor of Marcellus Shale tax

Waters in favor of Marcellus Shale tax
 
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Ronald G. Waters, D-Phila./Delaware, is calling on the Senate to pass the Marcellus Shale tax and says implementing the tax should be a top priority before the end of the year.
 
Waters said the Marcellus Shale tax would help to close the state’s current budget deficit and relieve some of the burden on individual taxpayers.
 
“If we pass this tax we would be able to generate much needed revenue for the state where we would not have to continue to make deep, drastic cuts to services that some of our most vulnerable citizens need. These include educational programs, senior citizen services, health programs and other human services,” Waters said.” Every year we have to make cuts to these programs, yet we do not require rich oil and natural gas companies to pay their fair share. Does this make sense?” 
 
Waters said the Marcellus Shale is one of the biggest natural gas fields in the U.S. and Pennsylvania is becoming a leader in natural gas extraction.
 
“Pennsylvania is one of the 32 states in the nation that produces natural gas and it ranks 15th in total production. The Marcellus Shale deposit alone reportedly holds 50 trillion cubic feet,” Waters said. “There is almost an unlimited amount of wealth that can be derived from this natural resource by big oil and gas companies – Pennsylvania could practically be considered the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. However, Pennsylvania is the only state with significant extraction activity that does not impose a severance tax or conservation fee on the big companies drilling for natural gas.”
 
Waters said he hopes the legislature will pass the tax and think more about its citizens and less about protecting big business.
 
“Our cities are hurting.  For example, Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of the ten largest cities in America according to the U.S. Census, with 25 percent of its residents in poverty, and one in three children under age 18 in poverty,” Waters said.  “The Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in our state will mean major profits for the investors, and could yield billions in revenue at a time when our social service programs are in jeopardy.  I see nothing wrong with asking these people with deep pockets to step up to the plate. As legislators we need to be more concerned about protecting the interests of our citizens before the profits of big business, We want to make sure our elected officials are voting the right way,” Waters added.
 
“We successfully passed it out of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support,” Waters said.  “Some people are more concerned about the environment than anything else.  This tax could be used to fund the Department of Environmental Protection, which has oversight, to ensure the environment is protected.”
 
Waters also said taxing the natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale would not cost Pennsylvania jobs.
 
“If we have this natural resource to help generate the money we need to help bring us out of this state’s recession, let us use it.”
 
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