Some of our readers and listeners might be interested in attending this event in Harrisburg next Wednesday, March 9th at 1:30 pm. Sustainability Now's Peter Buckland will be there as both activist and journalist.
If you peruse most of the press out there - big media, local and independent papers, the citizen blogs - you will find overwhelming support for a severance tax on gas extracted from Marcellus Shale. Pennsylvania is the only state not collecting a severance tax.
As John Quigley, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said, “Quite frankly, the citizens of this state are being played for chumps.”
In a year with a looming budget crisis because of the economic downturn, wouldn't it make sense to garner revenue from a booming industry? Wouldn't it make sense to funnel that money from industry back to the commonwealth's common people for their common wealth? Wouldn't it make sense to use money from our own natural resources to help with environmental projects? Wouldn't it make sense to slow this stuff down? A Tea Party candidate for county commissioner in Bradford County wants to slow it down. This is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue or a progressive vs. conservative issue. This is about sanity, health, and environmental integrity.
Apparently Governor Corbett does not agree. Common Cause has noted that the gas industry has thrown about $2.85 million into political campaigns in the last 10 years. They write, "Drillers have a clear favorite in the 2010 gubernatorial race—Republican Tom Corbett, recipient of $361,207, with 93% of these contributions coming since January 2008." That's a lot of influence. How can we have that much influence?
So Peter will be there asking questions, talking to concerned people, and hopefully getting to speak with some people with authority.