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With the last three days of voting session coming up next week, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council urges its members to contact their Senator and tell them now is the time to meet their commitment to pass a responsible natural gas severance tax to help fund disappearing environmental programs like Growing Greener.

A reasonable severance tax will provide much-needed revenue to the State’s popular and effective “Growing Greener” environmental funding program that is now all but out of money to support vital and mandated environmental restoration programs.

A reasonable severance tax will also provide strong support for the General Fund, local and county governments where gas drilling is taking place, State wildlife management agencies, county conservation districts and other environmental purposes.

Many Senators have expressed their dedication to ensuring that environmental program funding is a primary component of any severance tax; now is time for the Senate to act on this once in a generation opportunity to support effective environmental programs like Growing Greener.

The House of Representatives has fulfilled its promise by approving a severance tax proposal.  Without action, Growing Greener will all but disappear, 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams will remain polluted, and we will have lost an amazing opportunity to meet the mandate of Pennsylvania’s Constitution:

The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and ethic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all of the people, including generations yet to come. As trustees of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. (Article I, Section 27)