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Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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I've always been fascinated to see how many people vote against their own interests. It's the only explanation for Republicans ever getting elected.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/201 ... t_cuts__We_smell_gas.html

Posted on: 2011/3/9 8:09


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Quote:

englishprof wrote:
I've always been fascinated to see how many people vote against their own interests. It's the only explanation for Republicans ever getting elected.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/201 ... t_cuts__We_smell_gas.html


just curious…

In your opinion, who should decide what is best for each individual voter?

Not only that, who should decide what each individual’s opinion should be for what is best for the town, county, state and/or nation? In your opinion of course.

One more thing. Why is this on the general forum.

Keep in mind that I don't necessarily disagree with you. Many people vote on emotion rather than reason and then live to regret it.

Then again, I know that I have voted against my own personal best interest before if I felt is was best for the community, state, or country in the long run. ...and I don't recall ever regretting it. Please explain to me why that is bad practice.

P.S. I didn't even bother reading the contents of the link yet. I couldn't get past your editorial without commenting.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 8:18
_________________
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!
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This topic deals with gas drilling. Since we have a host of threads already active in the Conservation forum on this topic I will be moving this thread to the Conservation forum shortly. Should the thread devolve into a purely political discussion (the ambiguous title and wording may invite this) - it will then move to OT.

Thanks,
Dave W

Posted on: 2011/3/9 8:27


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Well, I don't exactly "like" all the cuts, but I don't like the big deficits either, and I recognize that I can't have my cake and eat it too. If we're to balance budgets, there's going to be some pain in the process. We've grown accustomed to getting more from government than we put in and it's unsustainable. I'd rather fix it now than create a problem 10x worse for the next generation. But I am open to raising taxes as at least part of the solution. I'm a cut spending, raise taxes kind of guy, I want our gubments to run surpluses and pay down debt, so that those pesky interest payments shrink and we can eventually get back to getting more from a tax dollar than we do today.

To be quite clear, gas companies DO pay PA taxes, just like any other entity that does business in PA. Our state business taxes are generally quite low, with the state mostly taking the philosophy that it gets most of that money from the employee's income taxes, thus ensuring the revenue stream as well as jobs. That philosophy still fits with gas companies as well, whether or not those employees permanentally reside in PA, they do pay PA taxes if the money was made in PA.

The gas companies do not pay property taxes for leased land, only on land they own, which is a small % of the land they use. Although, again, the actual owner of the property does pay property taxes, and gas wells significantly raise the value of the land, thus increase those taxes, and tracing it back that $ is recovered by the landowner from the gas companies, or else the landowner would have no reason to go forward with it.

What these articles talk about, though, is that gas companies do not have any EXTRA, industry specific taxes added to what a company in other industries would pay.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 8:34


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
Well, I don't exactly "like" all the cuts, but I don't like the big deficits either, and I recognize that I can't have my cake and eat it too. If we're to balance budgets, there's going to be some pain in the process. We've grown accustomed to getting more from government than we put in and it's unsustainable. I'd rather fix it now than create a problem 10x worse for the next generation. But I am open to raising taxes as at least part of the solution. I'm a cut spending, raise taxes kind of guy, I want our gubments to run surpluses and pay down debt, so that those pesky interest payments shrink and we can eventually get back to getting more from a tax dollar than we do today.

To be quite clear, gas companies DO pay PA taxes, just like any other entity that does business in PA. Our state business taxes are generally quite low, with the state mostly taking the philosophy that it gets most of that money from the employee's income taxes, thus ensuring the revenue stream as well as jobs. That philosophy still fits with gas companies as well, whether or not those employees permanentally reside in PA, they do pay PA taxes if the money was made in PA.

The gas companies do not pay property taxes for leased land, only on land they own, which is a small % of the land they use. Although, again, the actual owner of the property does pay property taxes, and gas wells significantly raise the value of the land, thus increase those taxes, and tracing it back that $ is recovered by the landowner from the gas companies, or else the landowner would have no reason to go forward with it.

What these articles talk about, though, is that gas companies do not have any EXTRA, industry specific taxes added to what a company in other industries would pay.


Inherent to natural gas exploration and drilling/operating wells are risks to the environment, risks to property owners (both safety and property values), the added wear and tear on the roads because of the heavy trucks, the upgrades needed in the infrastructure such as water treatment plants, additional inspectors needed for enforcement, etc.; the Nat gas companies should be taxed to pay for these things. Also, if there were a disaster (explosion or spill) it should not be up to the taxpayers to foot the bill for the clean-up.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 8:59


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Couldn't have said it better myself!

Posted on: 2011/3/9 9:14


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Quote:

jeff wrote:
Couldn't have said it better myself!


I could.

Afish's comments kind of sounded like he wanted to use taxes as a punishment for one certain industry. However, I will agree he had some good points.

Afish... I'm pretty sure the drilling companies are required to have a huge bond or insurance policy to cover an disasters or damage. If so, doesn't that cover the "risks" that you mentioned in the first part as requiring additional taxes? With any industry there are risks. If those risks are covered by required bonds, or insurance policies why should other special tax be required. They certainly shouldn't have to pay any more taxes than the coal industry IMO.

Still haven’t read the link, but I probably will eventually.

Like I said, I do think you have some points. Wear and tear on the roads: How is all that handed for the coal industry, sand and gravel, concrete, lumber etc. Isn’t it covered just by tax on fuel? However it is handled for those, it should be handled the same for gas drillers. Upgrades to water treatment should definitely be covered by the drilling companies. I'm not sure that it isn't, but it definitely should be. It would be required in other states.

I also think the gas companies should have to pay for depletion (or whatever it was called) tax. their taking resources. There was an attempt to add that last year, but I don't know of a compromise was reached.

As far as voting practices, I'm with pcray. Rendell ran up a 4b deficit. IMO the responsible thing to do about it is vote for someone willing to do something about it.

Cuts in spending and tax increase both hurt, but sometimes are necessary.

And another response to the original... I’m sometimes baffled by people who are fascinated by people who think they are voting responsibly instead of selfishly.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 9:40
_________________
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Yeah, afish has some points.

However, an additional, automatic, can't escape it tax should only be levied for those impacts which are 100% unavoidable.

Beyond that, you put up tight regulations, monitor and enforce the heck out of them, and issue back breaking fines for non-compliance. A company must have monetary incentive to cause as little damage as possible. i.e., you must have a system where the companies who go the extra mile for the environment are more successful than those who don't.

Our regulations are too lax, our monitoring not sufficient, and our fines too small. I want to make sure gas companies pay for damage, and then some. But I'm against a "sin" tax, because I see most of the worst impacts as avoidable.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 9:53


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
Yeah, afish has some points.

However, an additional, automatic, can't escape it tax should only be levied for those impacts which are 100% unavoidable.

Beyond that, you put up tight regulations, monitor and enforce the heck out of them, and issue back breaking fines for non-compliance. A company must have monetary incentive to cause as little damage as possible. i.e., you must have a system where the companies who go the extra mile for the environment are more successful than those who don't.

Our regulations are too lax, our monitoring not sufficient, and our fines too small. I want to make sure gas companies pay for damage, and then some. But I'm against a "sin" tax, because I see most of the worst impacts as avoidable.


agree 100%

Posted on: 2011/3/9 10:23
_________________
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Quote:

FarmerDave wrote:
Quote:

jeff wrote:
Couldn't have said it better myself!


I could.

Afish's comments kind of sounded like he wanted to use taxes as a punishment for one certain industry. However, I will agree he had some good points.

Afish... I'm pretty sure the drilling companies are required to have a huge bond or insurance policy to cover an disasters or damage. If so, doesn't that cover the "risks" that you mentioned in the first part as requiring additional taxes? With any industry there are risks. If those risks are covered by required bonds, or insurance policies why should other special tax be required. They certainly shouldn't have to pay any more taxes than the coal industry IMO.

Still haven’t read the link, but I probably will eventually.

Like I said, I do think you have some points. Wear and tear on the roads: How is all that handed for the coal industry, sand and gravel, concrete, lumber etc. Isn’t it covered just by tax on fuel? However it is handled for those, it should be handled the same for gas drillers. Upgrades to water treatment should definitely be covered by the drilling companies. I'm not sure that it isn't, but it definitely should be. It would be required in other states.

I also think the gas companies should have to pay for depletion (or whatever it was called) tax. their taking resources. There was an attempt to add that last year, but I don't know of a compromise was reached.

As far as voting practices, I'm with pcray. Rendell ran up a 4b deficit. IMO the responsible thing to do about it is vote for someone willing to do something about it.

Cuts in spending and tax increase both hurt, but sometimes are necessary.

And another response to the original... I’m sometimes baffled by people who are fascinated by people who think they are voting responsibly instead of selfishly.



Oh come on this isn't about punishment it is about the environmental impact that his industry causes. You think they should be taxed the same as the local hardware store or repair shop? Really??? I think this is what Afish was saying. You made some good points about some of things they should be paying for but are currently not. Bottom line is they got a GREAT DEAL in Pa. They are all tripping over each other to run up here. The way things stand now the tax payer will be paying for a lot of the mess they cause.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 10:49


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Quote:
Oh come on this isn't about punishment it is about the environmental impact that his industry causes. You think they should be taxed the same as the local hardware store or repair shop? Really???


Yep, which is the same as the steel mills, coal miners, rock quarriers, etc. are taxed.

Seriously, what do you think taxing them solves? It sends money to the general fund, which will be used not to clean up the mess, but for something non-related deemed more important at the moment. And then, the company rightfully thinks they've already paid for the damage they haven't caused yet, so there's no need to go to any great measures to avoid it, as the cost is the same either way. It's basically a "pollute at will free" card.

So, first, decide what you want out of this? Do you really want to minimize environmental impact? Or are you simply looking to punish an industry and aquire a revenue stream for non-related government programs?

I'm going to assume its the former. In that case, you have to realize this isn't a collective industry we're dealing with. This is a large number of independent companies, some of them good, some of them bad. Reward the good, punish the bad. It's simply not right to make a good company, who did it all right, pay for the mistakes of the bad companies, and its counter to our goals, because it tells those good companies that spending money to go the extra mile was the wrong thing to do.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 11:26


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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I agree with a lot of what you say. But to not tax this industry because it isn't fair is crap. Also the argument about the tax going to the general fund and not going to improvements is old. If it's not going to the right place then that needs to be fixed. You sure wouldn't say ok guys come on in and screw up all our roads we got you covered! Would you? Or ok guys we will take all your used frac water don't worry about any improvements to our facility we got it covered! THE TAX IS NOT A PUNISHMENT! IT IS THE PRICE EVERY DRILLING COMPANY WILL PAY TO PLAY IN PA!! Just like every other state has implemented. Your argument that somehow this tax will have companies thinking that they are paying in advance for environmental disasters is almost as laughable as the fines levied against them for current infractions.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 11:50


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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nevermind, Pat covered it.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 12:31
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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Quote:
THE TAX IS NOT A PUNISHMENT! IT IS THE PRICE EVERY DRILLING COMPANY WILL PAY TO PLAY IN PA!!


So, what exactly are they paying for, then? If you say anything about environmental impact, then it is indeed a PUNISHMENT for what you expect to happen. But it doesn't have to happen, there's only potential for it to happen. And there's potential in a lot of industries. So why would only the gas companies pay this tax?

Don't get me wrong, I'd prefer to live in a land where nothing is mined, but thats awfully unrealistic unless we all agree not to heat or power our homes, buy consumer goods, etc. And it's awfully selfish to not allow it here and require that it be done in someone else's backyard. So, if we agree that if we want some of the niceties of a modern society, we have to put up with an equivalent level of the problems. I suppose if we're gonna tax these industries, I want to assign some sort of an impact matrix to the various industries, right? i.e. an industry that causes more damage should pay a higher tax.

For instance, you can look at the gas wells as REPLACING the need to add additional coal mines. We're talking modern coal here, not the devastating historical practices. Nonetheless, I prefer gas wells to coal mines personally, as the likely environmental impacts are still lower. Even road damage, man they run those tri-axle trucks all over our local roads, causing traffic nightmares and road and bridge damage. And the land use? Man, coal uses a lot more land than gas for an equivalent amount of energy, and it leaves it in worse condition upon leaving too. So, shouldn't we tax coal even higher?

What about timber? Heck, they build a lot more mud roads in the backcountry per amount of product than the gas companies do. The erosion has to be far worse from them. They also run a lot more trucks over our little local roads, causing road damage and bridge damage, etc. Why aren't they taxed MORE than the gas companies?

You could literally, run this same argument for every industry. They all have an impact. Even your hardware store. Those products got there by TRUCK. And if you want to trace it back a little ways, they were made at some heavy industrial plant along a river somewhere, which has surely leached some chemicals at some point in history. And going back even further, those raw materials were MINED somewhere.

Sorry, I refuse to play that game. Especially because within each of those industries, every company has different practices. What I want is a system that evaluates the impact of each individual company, and holds them responsible for it, in an effort to convince companies to take higher measures to prevent the impact to begin with.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 13:42


Re: Our Governor.....Incredible!!!!!

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I finally read the aricle.

I am not opposed to the tax that the author was talking about. It was the part about trying to tie it to possible environmental issues that I didn't agree with. That was done here and actually took away from the argument for the tax IMO.

If you are talking about a possible tax revenue source, then i say why not? Most other energy producing states alread have it. Just pick a number in the middle. what the Dems proposed last year didn't make a whole lot of sense. Rendell himself actually had a better idea, but not quite there. why didn't they get that done. the gas industry was actually prepared to pay something. But the dems wanted a huge piece that would have been the largest of any energy producting state, so it died. I'm betting those other states also have it for coal where applicable.

How much of that 350 a gallon that you are paying for gasoline is just tax added at the pump. Taxing the gas extraction based on volume is at least a more valid argument than we need it because sumpin might happen. That is what bonds, insurance, and fines are for.


Posted on: 2011/3/9 14:57
_________________
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--



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