Don't add shale tax

Gov. Wolf's latest proposed natural gas severance tax would make Pennsylvania's shale-gas producers the highest taxed in the country. It would hurt the industry - along with the state's economy - while it is struggling against record-low oil prices.

Responsible natural gas development has provided a major boost to our local economy. Even though we don't have active drilling sites in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia area is transforming into an energy hub. Thanks to the Marcellus Shale-driven growth of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex, shipping traffic on the Delaware River is at its highest level since 2008. Production of shale resources is creating jobs and revitalizing manufacturing.

Adding a severance tax to the impact fees already charged to well sites would damage this new economic driver and push jobs to neighboring states with lower tax burdens.

The governor and local elected officials should encourage job creation, investment, and growth, not discourage them with tax increases.

|Stephen E. Luttrell, associate,

Post & Schell, Philadelphia,