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Natural gas production is delivering for Pennsylvania; new policies should focus on continuing growth and improving infrastructure

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HARRISBURG, February 5, 2019 – API-PA Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman today issued the following response to Governor Wolf’s latest proposal to increase taxes on Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.

“Over the past decade, Pennsylvania has led the way for the nation in natural gas production. Due to our energy leadership, the world has seen a monumental shift in the balance of energy power. This leadership is delivering for communities across the Commonwealth – cutting family budget expenses and bringing manufacturing jobs back,” said Wissman. “Because it is being requested for the fifth time in five years, questions continue to be asked about good reasons for the continued targeting of Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry through a counterproductive and anti-consumer severance tax. In the end, if enacted, this additional tax will discourage investments and risk the loss of revenues that have helped bolster communities and infrastructure in all 67 counties. This initiative doesn’t restore Pennsylvania; it jeopardizes Pennsylvania’s economic strength in a world economy."

Since 2012, Pennsylvania has generated nearly $1.5 billion in new revenues from the existing impact tax. The state Independent Fiscal Office estimates that the impact tax collected from production in 2018 will total $247 million for distribution across the state this April, the largest-ever annual revenue generated.

“The system is working, and a fair share through an impact tax is being reinvested in communities where natural gas development is most prominent,” said Wissman. “In addition, more than being a leader of the state and national economy in recent years, investments in innovation from our industry have brought new advancements in renewables and other low-carbon technologies that have helped the U.S. lead the world in the reduction of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since 2000, falling to their lowest level in a generation, and methane emissions from natural gas systems fell 16 percent since 1990 as production rose more than 50 percent.

“We look forward to working with the legislature and the administration on policies that build on Pennsylvania’s successes, rather than the same tired ideas that will only pull us in the wrong direction.”

API-PA is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. API which started as a standards-setting organization has developed almost 700 standards to enhance the safety of our workers and protect the community and environment – standards the world looks to as a guide. Its more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans.