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Drilling industry wades into Pa. governor's race

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm •  Published: October 10, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The largest organization representing companies involved in Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling boom waded into gubernatorial politics Thursday and attacked proposals to raise taxes on the industry by various would-be Democratic challengers to Gov. Tom Corbett.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition issued a statement criticizing tax proposals that it said were being touted by gubernatorial candidates it did not identify. A spokesman later pointed to statements by six different candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination favoring similar severance tax proposals that could raise more than $1 billion a year from the industry.

The coalition statement warned that companies would take their money to other states.

"It would be irresponsible and ill-advised to advance massive new energy taxes that would strike an unnecessary blow to one of our economy's most important, thriving and promising sectors," the statement said.

Corbett, a Republican widely viewed as a strong industry ally, fought proposals to slap a tax or a fee on the booming industry before agreeing in 2012 to an "impact fee" that is currently generating about $200 million a year for state programs and drilling communities.

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