House Bill 1489, taxing the Marcellus shale, places 100 percent control over Clearfield County’s new found fortune in the hands of Harrisburg politicians.This bill is the responsibility of Camille Bud George as chairman of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Mr. George ‘s “ retooled “ Severance tax bill ( as reported in the June 22 Progress article ) was a publicity stunt, used to try to fool the voters of Clearfield County in to believing that they would be getting a potentially larger share of this windfall tax.
I say ” POTENTIAL” because the people of Clearfield County are well aware of the tricks of Harrisburg. Remember the tax on every ton of coal that was to be used for environmental clean up. Most of that money was diverted to the General Fund to be used in Harrisburg and Philadelphia instead of restoring our land and water.
Camille has been the chairman of the Environmental Committee for almost his entire rein of power, and is responsible for the allocation of this tax. The money that would have been used to create local jobs in environmental clean up was dribbled out not by the needs of our county, but by the the unending quest to serve the special interest’s of our Harrisburg masters.
Don’t be fooled, the state severance tax debate in Harrisburg is not about environmental protection or our roads and bridges damaged by gas drilling or the protection of our water supply . The tax is about keeping a wasteful bureaucracy in business.
As long as the State collects the gas tax Clearfield County can expect broken promises, as the money will be appropriated elsewhere. Any severance tax’s core principe must be to allow Pa Counties to collect and distribute the tax as they see fit. Only then can we be assured the money may be used for environmental clean up, tax relief or to help our ailing school systems.