The editorial “ What is Governor Corbett Trying to Hide?” (CDT, June 26) paints an inaccurate picture of Corbett’s position on natural gas operators paying their fair share and his recent limited leasing proposal.
Nowhere does it note the most salient fact — that thanks to Corbett’s leadership, communities all across Pennsylvania are benefiting from significant new revenues paid by natural gas operators. Yes, we called it an impact fee — and it’s a bit different than some other states, but that’s because we tailored it to provide direct benefit to our local communities.
Since 2012, the impact fee has generated $630 million in new revenues for projects like roads and bridges, parks and open space, watershed cleanup, public safety, property tax reduction, emergency response, environmental enforcement and a host of other priorities.
The claim that Corbett has not led in ensuring gas companies pay their fair share is more ironic considering that today more than $225 million is being distributed to the state’s communities from the impact fee.
The governor is hiding nothing with respect to his limited leasing proposal; Corbett announced his plan more than four months ago so that it could be publicly vetted at legislative hearings, citizen advisory meetings and a host of other forums. State Sen. Greg Vitali is engaged in pure partisan politics. He has been extended numerous opportunities to answer the same questions that his colleagues all seem to have had satisfactorily answered. Yet, he has refused every single opportunity to do so. What does that tell you?
The writer is the energy adviser for the Office of Gov. Tom Corbett.