Why Aren’t We Talking About Shale?

Some GOP lawmakers continue to ignore the voters and basic math by holding the state budget hostage to schemes to dismantle the PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB). And they want to give the shale drillers a free pass. 

It makes no sense. Just consider what the voters want:

  • The latest Franklin & Marshall (F&M) poll shows that 67 percent of Pennsylvanians support a shale tax.
  • F&M's March, 2015 poll found that just 1% of all Pennsylvania voters believe that privatizing the liquor stores should be a priority for lawmakers.
  • F&M polling has found that a combined 57 % of Pennsylvania voters support modernizing the PLCB or leaving this valuable publicly-owned asset intact.
  • Polling shows that support for privatizing the PLCB is under 50%.

Now, consider the math:

  • The PLCB provided more than $584 million in profits, taxes and other transfers to taxpayers last year.
  • In the last five years, the PLCB has contributed more than $2.57, including $116.7 million to State Police, $10.5 million to the Department of Drug and Alcohol, and $22.4 million to local communities.
  • Legislation to modernize the PLCB would generate an additional $185 million in new profit – at the minimum - in the first year alone.

Pennsylvania remains the only major natural gas producing state that does not have a statewide excise tax on this industry. It's time, once and for all, to tax the drillers.

It's time to protect 5,000 family-sustaining jobs that the PLCB provides and help to modernize this asset.

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