HARRISBURG, Feb. 10, 2012 — State Sen. Jim Brewster today said he voted against the recently approved gas drilling legislation because it fails to raise enough revenue and stifles local community zoning and input.

Following final legislative approval yesterday, the bill (House Bill 1950) is now in Gov. Tom Corbett’s hands for enactment.

“I favor the gas drilling industry and the many good jobs it will create,” Brewster said. “But this legislation doesn’t require the industry to pay its fair share of the tax burden, muzzles local input, and doesn’t take steps to help Pennsylvania workers obtain jobs in the industry.

“With schools and struggling families facing additional budget cuts this year, I find it unfathomable that Pennsylvania would hand the industry one of the lowest tax rates in the nation.”

Brewster said states like Texas and Oklahoma impose severance tax rates that are three times higher than what House Bill 1950 would assess Pennsylvania’s gas drillers. He said there was no reasonable explanation for leaving so much potential tax revenue on the table that could have been used to lessen budget cuts to schools, human services, public transit and so many other programs and services.

Brewster said he also wanted the bill to include incentives for the industry to hire Pennsylvania workers, more local zoning control and more environmental safeguards.

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