Corbett ad riles environmentalists

    Spot takes issue with Onorato’s support for a tax on the natural gas industry. Environmental groups call the ad misleading.

    As Harrisburg lawmakers continue to debate taxing the natural gas industry, Republican Tom Corbett, the GOP candidate for governor, is running radio and television spots on the issue. Environmentalists are crying foul.

    Corbett opposes taxing the gas industry while his Democratic opponent, Dan Onorato, supports it. Corbett’s radio ad touts tapping the state’s natural gas reserves as a boon to the economy and as a way of creating jobs. In a recent television spot, Corbett criticizes his opponent’s stance.

    The ad, which calls it a “massive Pennsylvania energy tax that will kill jobs and drive up utility bills,” cites the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the source for the claim.

    But environmental groups call the ad misleading. They say a state tax would not impact the price of gas on the global market.

    “This is misinformation,” says David Masur of PennEnvironment. “It’s wrong to give this information to the public. We hope the campaign will stop running ads that are hoodwinking the public instead of having a real dialogue about an important issue in the commonwealth.”

    The Corbett campaign did not return repeated calls for comment.

    Although Democrat Onorato supports a tax on natural gas, he is not saying how much the tax should be.

    Pennsylvania is the only state without a tax on natural gas.

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