#PABudget: House Speaker Uses Talking Points Prepared By Natural Gas Industry at Capitol Press Conference

photo provided by Roxbury News

Who is running our government?

At a press conference on Governor Wolf’s Marcellus Shale Severance Tax earlier this week, House Speaker Mike Turzai attacked Governor Wolf’s proposed severance tax.  The AP wrote:

Turzai says the natural gas industry is already producing about $200 million annually in the form of an impact fee that is mostly targeted to areas where the drilling occurs. The Republican speaker and other legislative leaders are currently in talks with Democrat Wolf about how to plug a massive projected budget gap in the fiscal year that starts in July.

The following day, Turzai’s office issued a statement that read:

Joined by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; members of Vets4Energy, a group of volunteer veterans who continue to serve America as advocates for energy policies to sustain our national security; members of organized labor; and state and local business leaders, Turzai and more than 20 members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, natural gas industry leaders and national security experts talked about how the natural gas industry has benefited them, and how they were concerned that Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax would stop any growth dead in its tracks.

And the House Speaker said:

“We have been far too apologetic in telling the real story,” said Turzai. “Pennsylvania can realize our full potential if legislators reduce the tax burden on Pennsylvania families and job creators, cut regulatory barriers that inhibit job growth and drive entrepreneurs to other states, and expand opportunities for new industry sectors to come into places like Philadelphia.”

Harrisburg news agency Roxbury News recorded Turzai’s press conference and at the 5:45 second mark, the House speaker took to the podium.  Throughout his statement, you can see the House Speaker thumbing through what appears to be a power point presentation and talking points provided by the natural gas company EQT.  Stephen Miskin claimed that the House Speaker used the EQT documents to cite numbers.

EQT is responsible for at least 80 environmental and health violations between January 2011 and August 2014.  In 2013, the company sued 70 landowners in a forced pooling lawsuit.

Photo credit: Roxbury News

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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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  1. #PABudget: Speaker Turzai Received Over $50,000 from Natural Gas During Since Killing Severance Tax Debate | Raging Chicken Press


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