Tom Corbett and Allyson Schwartz clash reveals governor's desperation as he attacks gas tax idea

It became apparent this past week where Gov. Tom Corbett will aim his biggest political cannons in what has become his desperate bid to get re-elected.

The main salvos target U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Democrat from Montgomery County who is seen as a likely challenger to Corbett in next year's election.

A press release from the Tom Corbett for Governor Campaign attacked what it said was a tax increase being proposed by Schwartz. "If this is a preview of Allyson Schwartz's tax and spend agenda, Pennsylvanians better hide their wallets," the release said.

The problem with that claim is that it focuses on a tax favored by Schwartz that would not hit regular Pennsylvanians, but would force wealthy gas industry robber barons from places like Texas to pay a gas extraction tax they already must pay in every major gas-producing state — except Pennsylvania.

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I generally avoid writing about partisan contests because I have nothing but contempt for the wholly corrupt two-party monopoly. Corbett's latest missive, however, is so offensive it cannot be ignored.

"Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz's proposal to drastically increase taxes on the shale gas industry will cost Pennsylvanians good-paying, middle class jobs by forcing the industry to relocate to more business and energy friendly states," the Corbett campaign bellowed.

"Gov. Corbett has consistently stood with the middle class in his efforts to create jobs, grow our economy and responsibly use our natural resources while protecting the environment," the press release said. "Pennsylvania is fortunate enough to have a booming natural gas industry to help lead the charge in lowering energy costs … and creating over 130,000 new opportunities for Pennsylvanians to return to work."

Oh, really? Let's start with Corbett's marvelous job-creation program.

As I reported in May, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Pennsylvania was in seventh place in the nation regarding job growth when Corbett took office in 2011. By this year, the state was in 49th place, surpassing only Wyoming, where job growth depends partly on the number of cowpokes giddyapping around.

The best job growth was in Texas, perhaps thanks in part to Corbett's lavish assistance to the industrial interests there. Texas had an increase of 322,600 jobs while Pennsylvania, under Corbett, lost 1,800. In the meantime, Corbett chopped around $1 billion in funding for education.

Also in the meantime, Corbett engineered the Marcellus Shale Law, which provided for meager "impact fees" instead of a meaningful "severance tax" on gas extractions (the approach favored by Schwartz).

That law also forced municipalities to allow the Texas gas industry robber barons to drill in all zoning areas, even residential, using the environmentally devastating hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process.

And don't think the robber barons were not grateful. They filled Corbett's coffers with more than $2 million in so-called political campaign contributions.

Schwartz, by the way, is a strong supporter of the gas industry if it is regulated and taxed properly, as am I. So how much money did the gas industry robber barons send her way? According to Pennsylvania Common Cause, it was $5,500 during the same period.

No other politicians come close to Corbett, but the national Common Cause organization said others across the nation also received big contributions from fracking interests, including western Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy ($275,499) and Sen. Pat Toomey, who is from the Lehigh Valley ($160,750).

The Schwartz proposal for a 5 percent gas severance tax indeed would have a significant impact.

The Corbett campaign was responding to a report, released Wednesday by Schwartz, that said such a tax would have raised $612 million in the state's 2013-14 budget year alone, and that would increase to more than $2 billion a year a decade from now.

Would that, as Corbett claims, chase gas-drilling jobs out of Pennsylvania? Where would they go? To West Virginia, which also has a 5 percent severance tax? To Oklahoma, where it's 7 percent, or maybe to Texas, where it's 7.5 percent?

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lmao...your leading us to believe this in not a biased article?  bunch of crap!

We need to encourage business to come to PA. not chase it away with tax's.Lets here Allyson Swartz's plan to bring jobs to PA.

Has anyone thought about how a severance tax if in acted will directly effect the landowners?

What does your lease state as far as what your share of the severance tax would be?

Example: Mine an old lease states: (c) Lessee to deduct from payments in (A) & (B) above Lessor's prorate share of ANY severance (excise) tax imposed by ANY governmental body.

If the State charges a severance tax, which governmental body is next? Local, County, Federal?

Will this severance tax end up, like the cost production? Landowners ending up with  $1.00 a month or maybe $0 a month? Landowners are already paying Federal & State taxes on their royalty $s.
Mr Goodfellow 33rd is not great, but it is not 49th. Mr Carpenter claims to have "nothing but contempt for the wholly corrupt two-party monopoly", so his answer is to support a democrat.
Lets see some of his other articles. This anti gas one is good. Wonder if he has an agenda?

I am not a fan of either party. They are just opposite sides of the same coin both corrupt. However, I do find Democrat politicians more distasteful. This issue is a perfect example; Democrats are always about more taxes and obtaining them in a deceitful manner.

Other oil and gas producing states have higher severance/excise taxes because they either don't have an income tax or a sales tax or don't have either. My belief is that Ms. Schwartz  probably knows this and is using the "evil" oil and gas companies as villains for  misdirection. Which in my opinion is deceitful.

The people that will be burdened the most by this tax will be landowners receiving royalties since they can least afford to pay the tax. Again, it is my belief that Ms. Schwartz probably knows this too but chooses to play ignorant. Which again in my opinion is deceitful. Corbett is no prince but I would hold my nose and vote for him over Ms. Schwartz on this issue alone.

Why always just Oil & Gas that has to pay a severance?  Why not Heinz.  Why stop at gas?  Severance tax ketchup.  Is there anything else made in PA?  Severance tax that too!

That's the absurdity of this tax proposal.  The government just wants to further milk an industry that is already doing so much to revitalize the economy.

How many Liberal industries have a severance tax anyhow?  Let's severance tax big solar, or big windmill.  Just because someone wins an election doesn't mean they're not a LOSER!

Unfortunately we cannot tax big solar. It's gone bankrupt.
Al Gore invented the internet remember.
My mistake. After further review I see Mr Carpenter was talking about job creation not employment rate. This is still a fundamental problem in this country, that politicians on either side are responsible for creating jobs. All they do is impede or support the exsistence of jobs. Business is responsible for creating jobs.

This guy "hates the two party system" because it is corrupt yet he is a huge hypocrite.  He claims he is pro gas industry yet calls all the companies :"robber barons."  He says that he is a "big supporter" of the industry yet says the technique of hydrolic fracturing is "environmentally devastating.".... so that does that mean he supports devastating the environment?

He talks about job loss and creation but uses total job numbers and does not break them down by industry to illustrate where the gains and losses were.  Further, he fails to point out that in the short time that Corbett has been in office coincides with the lowest nat gas prices in decades....which reduced drilling activity. And it also coincides with the big move from dry gas to wet and from the Marcellus to the Utica in Ohio.

And the biggest issue is the same old severance tax dance.  "If Texas and other states have it why doesn't Pa" It is what all the money grabbers in Philly and Harrisburg dream of.  But they fail to  point out that Texas has no state personal income tax nor do they have a state corporate tax. Pa has a 9.9% corp tax and a 3.3% state personal tax......which landowners pay on both bonus money and royalties. If the money grabbers really want to be like Texas then pass a severance tax but eliminate the other taxes.

The man would be laughable except for the sad fact that too many uneducated people incapable of analytical thinking will blindly swallow the bilge he is serving up.

 Land men should carry that article with them to try to talk peoples property values down.Nothing positive all negative,Penn Future is a anti factivist group.


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