The following letter to the editor by Nick DeIuliis was published in the December 24 edition of the Citizens’ Voice.
I must respond to your editorial highlighting my recent speech on Pennsylvania and America’s natural gas industry to correct two fatal flaws.
First, you reported a gross inaccuracy regarding my speech. I was not ‘protesting’ our state’s impact fee/severance tax. I distinctly advocated for finding a sensible path to grow tax revenue, not diminish it. You not only missed my clear point but ascribed the opposite to me.
Second, your editorial applies inconsistent and twisted logic.
Arguing the natural gas industry is here because the gas is here, so $2 billion in impact fees (a.k.a. severance tax) is fine, or as you suggest too low, is logic that seems to only apply to the natural gas industry.
Power demand is here, yet wind and solar pay zero tax—and get subsidy (and want more and more subsidy). The students live here, but universities pay no property tax – and get massive direct and indirect subsidy (while failing graduates, parents, and taxpayers). News readers/consumers are here, but newspapers, including yours, pay zero sales tax—and get subsidy (not sure how the press these days protects the citizenry from government when government now funds the press).
Your editorial also references the tired nomenclature debate of severance tax versus impact fee. Whether called a fee or a tax, it’s a tax make no mistake about it. Put the lexicon gymnastics to rest.
Your editorial is illustrative of those looking to position the natural gas industry as a problem needing fixed to justify more bureaucracy and the tax dollars to pay for that bureaucracy. The reasoning you apply when making your case is conveniently shed when it comes to similar issues/industries.
In the words of Ayn Rand: check your premises!
Nick Deiuliis, President & CEO