Allyson Schwartz

One Pennsylvania - Sept. 4, 2013

Allyson Schwartz
September 04, 2013
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Campaign status: Lost

Pennsylvania has a great history in being an energy producer, and natural gas is a part of the economic growth of Pennsylvania. It is so important to Pennsylvania, so important to our future as a state. I'm proposing a new vision for Pennsylvania and a new vision for the Marcellus Shale gas. We ought to be able to share in the wealth as well and put that wealth to work for Pennsylvanians, to grow the economy, not only in the energy sector but more broadly.

So I'm proposing what is a modest, reasonable 5 percent extraction tax. It's something they fully expect to pay and they pay in every other state. They pay 7 1/2 percent in Texas, they pay 7 percent in Oklahoma, they pay 5 percent in West Virginia. It is our resource, it is our natural wealth, and we're really just giving away. We're gonna be able to use some of the profits that might go just in companies to use to reinvest and grow Pennsylvania's economy into the 21st century. We're looking at $600 million in the first year alone in 2014, and 2022 we're looking at $2 billion available in revenues for the state. It is about investing in education, it's investing our children, it's about growing our economy, it's about doing the right thing for Pennsylvania.

I would invest in early education, make sure we have fair funding for basic education and contribute to affordability of higher education as well. Pennsylvania families will not see an increase in their income tax, nor will they have to impose new property taxes on middle class families in Pennsylvania. And secondly to invest in infrastructure and transportation. At the moment we're not investing—we're barely maintaining the roads and bridges and highways – and we have real opportunities to do that.

The fact is that the natural gas industry here in Pennsylvania is a great opportunity for building jobs here in Pennsylvania for Pennsylvanians. We are under Governor Corbett forty-ninth in the nation in job growth. That's unacceptable. An extraction tax would enable us to insure a skilled workforce, both in terms of basic education but also in training and retraining workers who want these jobs.

We propose that we also use some of these dollars to build towards a future, renewable energy sources that are extremely important in Pennsylvania. We have work to do, I believe, to make sure that we are doing drilling in a way that is safe and appropriate, protects us right now and into the future. They want a governor who is going to really protect them and their communities and our environment as well, and they want to use the very best science and technology to make sure that our air and our water is clean. It is the governor's responsibility to lead in assuring that there are highest standards and expectations for the industry, across the industry.

I want them to stay, I want them to be successful here in Pennsylvania but I also want them to contribute to our economic growth here Pennsylvania, and they should, and they can. Because the Marcellus Shale, the natural gas energy, is such an opportunity for Pennsylvania to grow the economy, to be able to make investments for the future, and it is an opportunity for Pennsylvania that we cannot afford to miss.