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Article published February 11, 2013
Tax the gas industry
Sam Hoszwa Butler Township
It appears that another year will go by without Gov. Tom Corbett taxing the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. Corbett’s new budget outlines plans to raise gasoline taxes, privatize state liquor stores and cut state employees’ and teachers’ pensions, but once again includes no plans to tax natural gas drilling companies. Corbett says the increased tax on gasoline would go toward repairing and replacing the state’s crumbling infrastructure. Why doesn’t the state tax the huge natural gas industry that is damaging some of the infrastructure that we now have to pay to repair because of its heavy trucks? If the gas companies are taxed more, the revenue could go toward infrastructure work and to restore some funding to the state Department of Environmental Protection to better police the gas industry. I believe fracking is unsafe and dangerous to both human health and the environment. I also feel that a progressive tax based on profit is the least that can be done. Perhaps the gas industry would not be so apt to drill wherever it can. The current impact fees are a start, but they do not go nearly far enough. Corbett needs to stop patronizing the fracking industry and start caring about the people of Pennsylvania.