Don't kill drilling investment
The proposal to enact a Pennsylvania severance tax on natural gas producers is very troubling, as I fear it could discourage new investment in this growing state industry. I would urge state House Speaker Sam Smith to take a lead role to make sure this tax is defeated.
A severance tax would undoubtably be a negative influence in terms of investment in energy development.
This proposal supposedly is designed to emulate West Virginia's severance tax. According to energyfactspa.com, West Virginia has seen a 20 percent increase in drilling activity over the last 10 years. But here in Pennsylvania — with no severance tax — our drilling starts have increased 400 percent in that time.
Since 2009, West Virginia has added two new drilling rigs; Pennsylvania has added 56, energyfactspa.com states.
I don't think this is a coincidence. Companies invest where they can maximize their return on the dollar and taxes are a huge part of that equation.
If we want to keep our gas fields working — and maintain the thousands of family wage jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity they represent — we must reject this severance tax plan.
Chad A. McCutcheon
The author is the spokesman for McCutcheon Enterprises Inc., a waste management contractor for the oil and gas industry.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.