By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH – Communications Specialist and DrPH student, Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC), University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Last week the PA House of Representatives voted in support of a severance tax of 39 cents for every thousand cubic feet of natural gas extracted. This proposed bill now awaits its fate in the Senate. Governor Edward Rendell recently sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them to move forward on the bill.
“A week ago the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to impose a severance tax on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. Since that time, in spite of the expressed commitment made by the you in the fiscal code, your comments, and those made by your staff, do not offer a shred of evidence that you have any intention of living up to this commitment you made to put the severance tax to a vote in the Senate before you adjourn the session.” Read more.
Industry representatives have stated that the proposed tax is too high and would hinder the extraction process in the Commonwealth. Supporters of this tax, however, feel it is necessary to counter the costs to local infrastructure and protect the environment and public health.