More robust plan needed to save Growing Greener, benefit majority of Pennsylvanians
Harrisburg (April 28, 2011) — Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) said the impact fee on drilling as outlined today by Senate President Pro Temp Joseph B. Scarnati III (R- Jefferson) marks the beginning of the debate to ensure the drillers pay their fair share and that all Pennsylvanians benefit from the development of natural gas.
“We’re glad to see Senator Scarnati putting forth a serious proposal,” said Jan Jarrett, PennFuture’s president and CEO. “We need a robust and broad-based tax on the drillers that will protect the local communities, provide funding for environmental cleanup and protection, and benefit all Pennsylvanians for the loss of our natural resources. Senator Scarnati’s plan unfortunately fails to provide vitally necessary environmental protection funding, and does little to benefit the average Pennsylvania taxpayer.
“If the Scarnati bill becomes law, it would likely signal the end of our extraordinarily successful Growing Greener program – which started under Republican Governor Tom Ridge and has enjoyed widespread bipartisan support,” said Jarrett. “Growing Greener has enabled local communities and organizations to clean up our water and our land, providing funding for the local volunteers who know the problems best. With the funding for Growing Greener almost gone, failing to include it in an impact fee or drilling tax is a golden opportunity lost.
“We are very pleased that Senator Scarnati has joined the many other state legislators who are advancing serious proposals for a drilling tax or fee,” said Jarrett. “Now it’s not a matter of whether there will be a drilling tax; it’s a matter of what the tax will look like. We look forward to working with all to create the best legislation for a robust and broad-based fee or tax that will benefit our environment, our economy, and all Pennsylvanians by making the drillers pay their fair share.”
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization that advances policies to protect and improve the state’s environment and economy. PennFuture has experts and attorneys, outreach workers and communicators, lobbyists and educators, all working with local groups and citizens across the state to adopt and enforce great public policy. The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the state’s “leading environmental advocacy organization.”
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