For the last five years, I’ve been telling Pennsylvanians that they will be paying out of their own pockets for the natural gas development of our neighborhoods and farms.
It seems no one pays attention to these issues until it affects their own wallet.
Well, with the proposed sales tax hike to fill the state budget, taxpayers are again the victims, and the gas companies the victors, thanks to the Republican-led House and Senate.
You see, Tom Wolf ran for governor on the promise of charging the gas industry a 5 percent severance tax. The majority of Pennsylvanians voted for him for that reason and others. Now, the Republicans blocked that tax against the will of the people. So the question is this: “Whose will are they catering to?”
It’s obvious. It’s the gas industry and lobby groups such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Now, I’m not a big fan of Wolf because he falsely believes fracking can be done safely. Fracking and related infrastructure are bringing water contamination, lower property values, health issues related to people’s proximity to well pads and compressor stations, and environmental damage – with little benefit to us here in Pennsylvania.
The governor’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force will bring about more fracking without the benefit of a tax to pay for the damages caused.
How much is it going to cost us, the taxpayers, before we realize we’ve been played for fools and vote in legislators who will work in our best interest? My guess is much, much more.