Corbett and Onorato on the shale tax

    Onorato pledges to restore cuts to Department of Environmental Protection with shale tax money. Corbett opposes the tax.

    The candidates for Pennsylvania Governor are split on a natural-gas severance tax bill passed by the state House Wednesday. The measure that squeaked through by a 104-94 margin places a 39-cent tax on every thousand cubic feet of gas drilled.

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato says money from a severance tax should go to restoring funding that’s been slashed from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP is in charge of inspecting gas drilling sites.

    “I’m going to replenish all the cuts that were made in DEP over the last 2 years: 28% cut. You can’t be drilling in every county in Pennsylvania and not have a DEP. So we gotta fully fund DEP and I’ll use the severance tax to do it.”

    Onorato’s opponent, Republican Tom Corbett, opposes a severance tax. Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley says the new jobs and businesses created by the industry, will generate a tremendous amount of revenue for the state.

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