Fri, 25 September 2009
If state budget negotiators succeed, the very nature of what makes Pennsylvania just that - "Penn's Woods" - will be destroyed. That's because many of our elected officials seem unwilling or unable to stand up to the oil and gas drilling industry's million-dollar lobbying scheme. They need to hear from you: don't support any budget that harms Pennsylvania's forests and parks.
The proposed budget would be devastating for Pennsylvania’s environment. First, the budget sacrifices the integrity of our state forests by rushing to lease them for drilling. Secondly, it allows energy production companies to drill without enacting a severance tax. And it repeals the Oil and Gas Lease Fund that for 55 years has provided revenue for protection and management of state parks and forests.
As if that's not enough, while gas drilling fat cats are handed their sweetheart deal, the state's theaters, museums, bingo halls and volunteer fire departments are given the shaft, with surprise taxes proposed for cultural events and small games of chance. Hmmm... sound like a good deal for Pennsylvanians? Not so much.
Watch PennFuture's president and CEO Jan Jarrett make the argument against the current budget proposal. The speech was part of a recent press conference with House legislators and a broad coalition of state partners standing up to protect our most treasured state resources.
We cannot let the state legislature destroy Penn’s woods and the very fabric of our state. The short-sighted sacrifice of our public land and wholesale concessions to the multi-national energy companies that want to drill here cannot be tolerated. This is a taxpayer rip-off.
Contact your state representative today and say "no!" to No-sylvania. Then make a tax-deductible contribution to PennFuture so that we can continue to work for a just future where nature, our communities and the economy thrive.
Category:Vidcast -- posted at: 6:01 AM
Fri, 18 September 2009
After a delay of a few weeks, this week’s podcast is the third and final part of Recovery Act 101, a free forum held on May 11 in Philadelphia, targeting small businesses, discussing the top things businesses need to do to compete for funding for green initiatives in the federal stimulus package.
Led by David C. Dickson, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, this podcast features a terrific group of experts who guide the audience through exactly how to get a part of the stimulus money, and grow green jobs.
If you aren't already a member of PennFuture, what are you waiting for? PennFuture was called the state's "leading environmental advocacy organization" by the Philadelphia Inquirer. So join the leader on our secure website, and sign up for our publications. And remember, you can make sure you hear our podcasts first subscribing to them through iTunes.
Fri, 11 September 2009
The proposed budget deal just announced includes a massive giveaway to huge, multi-national energy corporations that want full and immediate access to drill, baby, drill in our public forests and parks.
Greedy gas companies spent more than one million dollars lobbying state government this year, and it looks like it paid off. The state budget does not include a severance tax on natural gas drilling even though it injures Pennsylvania taxpayers. To add insult to injury, the budget deal also opens up state parks and forests to gas drillers. Because gas prices have fallen, gas leasing prices have also fallen, so now giant multi-national energy corporations will be able to make a sweetheart deal to lock up leases at bargain basement prices.
If our state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is forced to hold lease auctions in our state lands today, WE LOSE. This is an outrageous breech of the public trust and no way to balance the budget.
This is a taxpayer rip off – listen to PennFuture’s President and CEO Jan Jarrett describe the anatomy of this rip off.
Then, take action by urging your elected officials to dump this bad deal.
Tue, 1 September 2009
Multi-billion dollar energy companies have spent $1 million in lobbying money in Pennsylvania this year to try to stop legislators from enacting a severance tax on natural gas extraction. Their money appears to be working, as the state budget negotiations are going forward without a severance tax on the massive Marcellus Shale reserves.
These companies stand to make billions off of our natural resources, and yet Pennsylvania remains the only state with large operations that does not charge a severance tax. These fees can help to cover costs for damaged roads and bridges, contaminated drinking water and other environmental regulations. Instead, the legislature would foist those costs onto Pennsylvania taxpayers rather than force industry to clean up its own mess.
This podcast features PennFuture's President and CEO Jan Jarrett eloquently making the case for a tax on Marcellus Shale drilling.
Take action today. Tell Harrisburg enough is enough. Demand a severance tax -- that could bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the state coffers each year -- be included in budget negotiations.