The Severance Tax is Bad for PA

Categorized in: Pennsylvania

Check out the this letter to the editor recently posted in the Pocono Record

Here we go again — some of the legislature and the governor may be considering another energy tax again. In December 2017, there was another failed push for an energy tax. So, you can bet they will try again. Gov. Tom Wolf will surely be calling for a severance tax among other things in his budget. Why? Because he can’t balance a budget and now wants to grab on to taxes already paid by the energy industry and add them to the black hole.

Pennsylvania has a severance tax — which is called an impact tax — and it has provided more than $1 billion, the bulk of which goes to all 67 counties throughout Pennsylvania since 2012. A new energy tax, if passed, could change how the impact tax is collected and distributed. It would go into the black hole. A new energy tax means tax revenue controlled by and through Harrisburg.


Read the rest of  Josephine Ferro’s piece here

Severance Tax Could Cost Jobs in Pennsylvania

Categorized in: Pennsylvania

Have you seen the recent Letter to the Editor in the Erie Times News?  It makes some great points about how the Severance tax would hurt job growth in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf, who is running for re-election, is again proposing to levy a severance tax statewide on energy producers. This proposal would replace the currently existing impact fees. Natural gas drillers pay tens of thousands of dollars on each new well, and those funds go to compensate local counties and municipalities, generating revenue that is reinvested by counties and townships in things such as paving roads or buying municipal equipment. Since Act 13 was passed in 2012, impact fees have brought in more than $1.2 billion to Pennsylvania, 60 percent of which went directly to counties and townships. Other funds went into state agencies and programs.

Severance taxes would be based on how much energy is produced via extraction. Nearly 20,000 Pennsylvanians are directly employed in the oil and gas industry, and more than 200,000 are employed in ancillary industries such as steel, road construction and trucking. The severance tax would be detrimental to economic growth and job creation in our state.


Read the complete piece by Robert J. Yates here.

Pennsylvania Energy Keeps America From Dependency

Categorized in: Pennsylvania

Look at what Don Schreiber contributed to Bill Lawrence Online.

We are producing more natural gas then we ever had before and that is great news for Pennsylvania and its residents.  Jobs are being created, industries are growing and revenue is increasing because of the natural gas industry.  Even all our counties receive money directly from an industry severance tax for environmental use to create park space and other quality of life activities that makes us proud to live in our communities.

And, natural gas even helps reduce pollution. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “Natural gas has been a game-changer with our ability to really move forward with pollution reductions that have been very hard to get our arms around for decades.”
Don makes some great points about the importance of energy independence in Pennsylvania, and how the proposed severance tax would make us energy dependent. Read his complete piece here. 

New Jersey Legislature Should Reject the Nuclear Bailout

Categorized in: blogrightrails, National, Natural Gas, New Jersey

Should rate payers have to pay higher prices to prop up the nuclear industry?

The answer is no. Nuclear power plants aren’t making enough money in New Jersey’s electricity market, so state legislators want the people of New Jersey to pay them a subsidy to protect their earnings. The money they want will come out of ratepayers’ pockets.

If the nuclear industry cannot compete with alternative forms of energy, then it should not be up to us to subsidize the owners of these plants. Government interference in favor of nuclear power will help that industry at the expense of the average New Jersey resident. That is not the right thing for the government to do. There is no good reason for legislators to force residents to pay more for electricity to make these plants more profitable.

The New Jersey Legislature should stand up for families and businesses by rejecting the nuclear bailout.

Keep the Heat on this Winter

Categorized in: blogrightrails, Delaware, National, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

Winter is the time when many of us learn to appreciate natural gas even more. Thanks to natural gas, the parts of our country that have been experiencing extreme weather conditions are able to heat their homes and keep local businesses open.

Unfortunately, some regulators don’t share the same opinion about this low-cost heating source. They are trying to shut down safe natural gas production in the Delaware River basin.

We need to tell the Delaware River Basin Commission to support affordable energy.

Members of the Delaware River Basin Commission are taking public comments on rules that would make a huge area off-limits to shale gas development. These rules would hurt efforts to produce the natural gas that keeps our energy costs low during winter and the rest of the year.

Let’s tell the commissioners that it’s unfair and unnecessary to ban natural gas development.


Ivey Site is an Example of Energy Development at its Best

Categorized in: blogrightrails, Colorado, Hydraulic Fracturing, Infrastructure, National

Adams County Commissioners will soon be considering whether to allow energy development at the Ivey site in the northwest corner of the county. This will be a safe, well-regulated project that will deliver enormous economic benefits to the region. But make no mistake: anti-energy activists will try to stop this project with fear, intimidation, and misinformation

The Ivey site development is an example of energy development at its best. It will contribute to America’s energy supply while helping the local community. Homes, schools, and parks are situated well outside the setback requirements for energy development at the Ivey site. The project will rely on pipelines, not trucks, for removing and transporting developed resources. This will help control traffic around the site. In addition, a solid emergency response plan has been developed, with support from local officials.

In addition to supporting jobs, the Ivey site will contribute more than $76 million in tax revenues over the life of the project. These funds can help improve our schools, libraries, parks, and government services.

It would be a mistake to sacrifice the opportunities of the Ivey site project for the unjustified fears promoted by anti-energy activists. Adams County Commissioners should support this sensible, local energy development.

Support Minnesota Line 3

Categorized in: blogrightrails, Infrastructure, Minnesota, National

A pipeline known as Line 3 has been delivering energy safely and efficiently to Minnesota for over 50 years. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is currently holding a public comment period to receive feedback on this project. 

It is now time to look toward the future and build a replacement pipeline so Minnesota residents have access to affordable and reliable energy in the years to come. Along with improving our energy infrastructure and safety standards, this project will also support good-paying jobs, provide a boost for local economies, and increase tax revenue for public services.


Ohio Ratepayers Shouldn’t have to Bail Out Aging Power Plants

Categorized in: blogrightrails, National, Ohio

Utilities in Ohio are asking state lawmakers for a BIG favor at the expense of electricity customers. If they get their way, your electric utility rates could increase in order to bailout four aging and uneconomic electric power plants – including one that is in Indiana. These bailouts could cost Ohio families and companies billions of dollars.

HB 381, SB 155, and HB 239 are just three of the several bailout bills being pushed by utility companies that would raise Ohioans’ electric bills. HB 381 proposes a massive bailout to FirstEnergy for two uneconomic nuclear power plants, and SB 155 and HB 239 propose a similar bailout to several electric utility companies for two aging power plants, one of which is in Indiana.

Ohio families shouldn’t have to pay more for electricity just to pad the bottom line of electric utility companies and prop up an aging out-of-state power plant. If these bailouts pass, they will be the next in a long line of subsidies to electric companies that have cost Ohioans nearly $15 billion in utility surcharges.

Preventing Needless Energy Taxes in Pennsylvania

Categorized in: National, Pennsylvania, Taxes

Time is not on our side. With a state budget that’s more than two months overdue, the House has returned to figure out how to balance the budget and fund our state. We must act now. Tell your representative that taxing Pennsylvania energy is not the answer to Harrisburg’s spending. Stop the severance tax today!


The governor and his allies don’t seem to care that this is a dangerous tax scheme that could threaten tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, put affordable energy for Pennsylvania families at risk, and threaten America’s energy security.


Pennsylvania should not be subjected to a new tax to fund Governor Wolf’s big spending plans. We have to let our representatives know that this energy tax would harm Pennsylvania families.

It’s Time to Fix the Renewable Fuel Standard

Categorized in: Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, RFS, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was supposedly created to help address environmental concerns. However its negative impacts on the American people and its unrealistic mandates produce more damaging effects than benefits.

Damaging Cars: Ethanol blends of more than 10% potentially could damage millions of vehicles and void engine warranties. Many cars, especially ones created before this mandate weren’t designed to accommodate ethanol blends, especially ones over 10%.

Increased Food Cost: The RFS ultimately takes away crops that would normally be used for food. This can cause the price of food and consumer goods to increase.

Hurting Small Business: An ethanol mandate can lead to overhead and delivery cost increases. This would cause a negative chain reaction leaving less money to be reinvested, resulting in small businesses struggling to find the funds to make new hires or even meet payrolls.

The RFS biofuel mandates are causing more harm than good and it needs to be fixed!