Prove your humanity

After failing to pass a natural gas severance tax for the past two years, Governor Tom Wolf is hoping this year the legislature will get on board with his proposal.

Following an event at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia Tuesday evening, Wolf said he plans to ask for a tax on Marcellus Shale drillers during his 2017-2018 fiscal year budget address next month. However, he was mum on the details, which he said are still being worked out with legislators and the natural gas industry.

Wolf, who campaigned on imposing a 5 percent severance tax, thinks the measure is key to making sure communities hours away from the nearest gas well buy into Marcellus Shale development, especially as pipeline companies look to move natural gas to markets on the East Coast through their backyards. Increasingly, suburban Philadelphia communities in Delaware and Chester Counties, which lie along the eastern edge of the route of the proposed Mariner East pipeline, have been organizing to resist the project.

“I want to be able to say to the people in Delaware County, if you support reasonable and environmentally correct expansion of the gas industry, this is going to help your schools,” Wolf said.

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