Gov. Wolf has proposed a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas in Pennsylvania to provide funding for public schools. Lawmakers in both parties have introduced severance tax bills every year since 2009, and every year the gas drillers have successfully fought the tax, spending $46.8 million on lobbying since 2007. Much of the industry’s lobbying money has gone into manufacturing a narrative, built on a foundation of myths, about the economic benefits of drilling and the fragility of the industry.
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has compiled five facts, supported by research and independent data, which tell the real story. We are posting a fact a day on this blog. Today, we give you:
Fact 5. The drilling industry inflated the number of jobs it created in Pennsylvania. The state Department of Labor and Industry recently improved the method for calculating the total number of drilling jobs, revising the figure downward. L&I now puts the net new number of jobs created by shale development at 59,394 jobs, with only about 23,478 of them directly related to the industry. All together, by this estimate, shale drilling accounts for 1 percent of all Pennsylvania jobs.