Marcellus Shale

Environment

The Republican legislation recently passed a woefully inadequate plan which they claimed will protect communities, their roads and infrastructure, our drinking water, and the air we breathe and from the contamination posed by drilling activities in the Marcellus shale.  The Republican bill was and is an insult to Pennsylvania’s working, middle-class families and seniors who are now paying higher property taxes and enduring painful budget cuts to public schools and critical health and safety programs, because Governor Corbett and numbers of Republicans General Assembly members signed Grover Norquist’s dangerous pledge never to raise taxes.

The Republican proposed fee is more than just a gift to the oil and gas industry – it’s a reckless abandonment of our responsibility to protect and defend the welfare of this commonwealth.  It does NOT force the huge, out-of-state drilling companies to pay their fair share – in fact, this embarrassingly low effective tax rate would be among the lowest of any natural gas-producing state in the nation.  It is lower than Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Colorado, and Wyoming, among others.

I support legislation that would make international oil and gas conglomerates, some with gross profits in the BILLIONS, pay their fair share. 

In addition, I have joined with other House Democrats have proposed a tax credit for drilling companies that create jobs for Pennsylvanians, because the truth is that MOST of the jobs in this industry are filled with workers from out of state – often from Texas or Oklahoma.  With unemployment in parts of the Marcellus Shale region still hovering around 7 to 9 percent, we should be doing everything we can to help spur this industry to hire more Pennsylvania workers.

Updates and Initiatives

Video | 09/22/2010