How Attractive is Pennsylvania Drilling?

Pop quiz: Drilling in Pennsylvania is as attractive as drilling in A) Arkansas B) Kansas or C) Cambodia?

The correct answer is Cambodia.

Currently, the Keystone State is one of the least attractive places to drill in the nation–and getting worse. According to the Fraser Institute’s 2010 Global Petroleum Survey, Pennsylvania ranks 66 out of 133 jurisdictions worldwide. The only US states worse off are: Alaska (68), California (87), Florida (100), and New York (102). These states all rank in the survey’s less desirable to investors category, along with places such as Quebec, Uganda, and Syria.

The report questions industry experts on each jurisdiction’s attractiveness for oil and gas exploration based on factors such as regulatory burden, tax rates, and security risks. Interestingly, the Commonwealth dropped 7 places from the 2009 survey.

Legislators should keep this in mind as they work to enact a severance tax on natural gas by the Oct. 1 “deadline.” A tax will erect greater barriers to returning economic prosperity to the state.