Energy Policy

Recent Issues

Natural Gas Severance Tax


A severance tax must be considered in light of the state’s total tax structure. Pennsylvania taxes the natural gas industry in many ways that don’t exist in other drilling states. For example, there is no corporate income tax or personal income tax in Texas or Wyoming, and the corporate income tax in West Virginia is 6.5%, compared to Pennsylvania’s 9.99% rate.

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Green Jobs Threatened by EPA Regs


John Oelbracht has managed the Westwood Generation power plant in Schuylkill County for 10 years. It’s more than a job to him—it’s an undertaking to clean up the environment while producing power for Pennsylvania homes. “We’re on something of a mission here,” Oelbracht says. But if the EPA has its way, he could soon be out of a job.

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Marcellus Shale Fee 2

Dangers of a Severance Tax


Given the fiscal challenges facing the state, many advocacy groups are calling for new taxes on natural gas. However, lawmakers should be aware that a severance tax will make Pennsylvania less attractive for gas drillers. Tax increases will not solve the long-term fiscal problems facing our state, with budgetary drivers like pension costs and welfare growing faster than our economy. Finally, this tax increase will victimize Pennsylvania landowners who will see their royalty checks shrink and sma

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Recent Blog Posts

Lawmakers Fight Wolf on Cap and Trade Plan

Governor Wolf is determined to pull Pennsylvania into a multi-state compact that restricts carbon dioxide emissions and raises the cost of power. But thanks to the natural gas revolution Pennsylvania has already reduced Co2 emissions. Now the General Assembly is blocking the governor from entering the agreement without legislative approval.

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Pa. Can Energize Its Energy Sector by Cutting Red Tape—Not with Industry Subsidies

This week the state legislature passed House Bill 732. The bill—designed to exempt volunteer service providers from a 1 percent realty transfer tax— now offers tax credits to the natural gas industry. The language for the tax credits was pulled from HB 1100, which attempts to boost the natural gas industry through government incentives. Combined, this unlikely pairing turns a somewhat harmless tax change into a mixed bag of government favoritism and corporate welfare.  

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5 Ways Carbon Taxes Harm PA

When Governor Wolf announced his decision to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) through executive order this past October, he also sent the message that PA is closed for business. For businesses operating on slim margins and working families struggling to get by, higher electricity bills and lost jobs are a sobering prospect. 

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