Letter to the editor: Gas industry paying fair share
The Commonwealth Financing Authority recently announced grants for 123 projects across the state ( “Impact fee funds $2.4 million in projects in Allegheny, Westmoreland counties,” Sept. 19, TribLIVE). This is great news — and it’s important to remember that those grants, which support parks, trails, flood mitigation and other environmental programs, are funded through Pennsylvania’s unique tax on natural gas, called the impact fee (Act 13).
That’s right — revenues from Pennsylvania’s natural gas impact fee directly benefit communities across the commonwealth. These funds are not abstract figures, nor are they dollars lost in Harrisburg — they result in real, tangible improvements.
Per the Tribune- Review article, locally, Springdale was awarded $206,661 for development of a trail and kayak launch, Bellevue received $225,000 for its Borough Memorial Park Project, and Jeannette was granted over $400,000 for flood mitigation. These are just a handful of the many projects announced this year that are funded through the impact fee.
Levied on top of all the other business taxes assessed in the commonwealth, Pennsylvania’s natural gas tax has generated nearly $1.5 billion in new revenue since 2012. Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf often claims the natural gas industry is not taxed or paying its “fair share.” The announcement of these projects proves just the opposite and demonstrates real dollars for community improvements trump political rhetoric any day.
Erica Clayton Wright
The writer is vice president of communications and membership for the Marcellus Shale Coalition ( marcelluscoalition.org ).