#PhlEd: Instead of Taxing the Frackers, We are Fracking the Teachers

Hours after the state ran School Reform Commission’s horrific decision to obliterate the collective bargaining rights of Philadelphia’s public school teachers, Pennsylvania Working Families Party other organizations in the PCAPS coalition organized an emergency rally outside of Governor Tom Corbett’s office.  Pennsylvania Working Families Party organizer Kati Sipp mc’d the event and during her opening statements, Sipp blamed Governor Corbett failure to fund the Philadelphia School District for Monday’s events.  During her opening remarks, she went on to say:

We are fed up.  People in Philadelphia are fed up and we are fed up that Governor Corbett has decided that the 1 percent doesn’t have to make any sacrifices to fund the schools in Philadelphia.  We’re not taxing the shale, we’re not closing corporate tax loopholes that allow people who are buying corporate jets not to pay any sales taxes.  We’re not closing the Delaware Tax Loophole that allows corporations that are chartered in Delaware to avoid paying corporate taxes in Philadelphia.  And what we are doing is instead of taxing the frackers, we are fracking the teachers.

The destruction of the Philadelphia School District, public education and public higher education is happening at a time when natural gas and oil companies are making billions in profits without paying any drilling taxes in Pennsylvania.  We have been writing about this issue for the past three and a half years now, but still, oil and gas industry executives are running to newspapers threatening the financial well being of the state if we were to tax them.

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Tribune featured a story that had industry CEO’s saying “don’t tax us, or we’ll not be competitive.”   The story reads:

Some major energy companies reduced drilling activity in the state because a glut of Marcellus gas lowered prices to half of that seen in other parts of the country, Range Resources Corp. CEO Jeffrey Ventura told Tribune-Review reporters and editors.

An extraction tax like that proposed by gubernatorial front-runner Tom Wolf, on top of the per-well fee they’re paying to the state, could push big companies to other shale plays, Ventura said.

“I think you’ll see companies like Range or some of the smaller people stay pretty active, but at the end of the day, it clearly will impact the play overall,” he said.

This is a threat made by industry CEO’s that is targeted at school teachers and students in Philadelphia and across the state because Tom Wolf has promised to use that money to pay for public education and higher education in Pennsylvania.

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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