GOP candidate for Pa. Senate favors tax on Marcellus Shale drilling

    Another Pennsylvania Republican — this time, a candidate for state Senate — is calling for a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers, largely a move championed by Democrats.



    Assessing a new tax on natural gas drillers is frequently proposed by Democrats. But several Republicans are joining in that chorus, including Tom McGarrigle, a candidate for a Delaware County Senate seat.

    There’s a split in the Pennsylvania GOP on the issue, according to Wes Leckrone, a political science professor at Widener University.

    “You have the division in the Republican Party between the ‘no new taxes’ crowd and the crowd that realizes you gotta tax somewhere, sometime, why not do it to an industry that can’t move?” he said.

    The trickle of new political support doesn’t necessarily mean an extraction tax will be passed.

    There’s been little action in the Senate on the issue, even though it’s favored by the GOP majority leader.

    The Republican-controlled House, which is more conservative than the Senate, opposes the levy.

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