I previously highlighted a state-run newsletter on Marcellus Shale, which basically represents taxpayer-funded lobbying. But the latest Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Examiner would really blow Mr. Spock's mind.
The lead story complains that local hotel occupancy taxes often exempt stays of over 30 days - and many drilling companies are reserving rooms for that length of time. The hotel tax is usually dedicated to "promoting tourism". A Wyoming county commissioner notes:
We need these funds to help attract visitors to our region and support the small businesses that depend on those tourists.
But the article notes a mere two paragraphs earlier:
Visitors planning to attend the Little League World Series are having trouble booking the few available rooms in Lycoming County, while tourists in Bradford County have found that a reported 98 percent of area hotel rooms are filled.
You don't have to be a Vulcan to realize that you don't need government funds to promote tourism when visitors to the area are at an all time high -- even beyond the current capacity to service guests.
In a related story, from an actual media outlet, drillers are giving up their hotel rooms voluntarily, for a time, to accommodate the Little League World Series.
"We started hinting to guests that Little League was coming a few months ago," said Jennifer Locey, vice president of operations for the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Williamsport, which together have 198 rooms booked almost entirely by ESPN for the duration of the World Series.
The hotels' management made arrangements for about 100 gas workers to stay at its Wilkes-Barre site about 80 miles away. Others took vacation, she said.