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Gas Taxes

Pennsylvania has the HIGHEST fuel taxes in the nation!  We pay $0.576 per gallon for gasoline and $0.741 per gallon for diesel in state tax.  That’s higher than even California!

Pennsylvanians pay another $0.184 per gallon of gasoline in federal taxes ($0.244 per gallon for diesel). The state taxes are supposed to fund, at least in part, the maintenance of our roads and bridges. Yet, visitors come into Chester and Delaware Counties and see the deplorable condition of nearly every state-maintained road. Where are those tax dollars going?

Electricity Rates

Two years ago, Governor Wolf signed an executive order for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Many in the state legislature saw this action as one that would kill job creation and the economy in Pennsylvania. Additionally, they believed it unlawful for the Commonwealth to implement RGGI without legislative approval. In the last attempt to stop the implementation of RGGI, the PA Senate held a veto-override vote which failed by one vote. One additional “yea” vote would have ended this measure. Please see the state senators’ recorded votes here

As a result, effective June 1, 2022 electricity rates in this state will be increasing by up to 30% at a time when Pennsylvanians are already trying to cope with skyrocketing fuel and food prices. 

For more background information on the RGGI please see these two articles from our partners at Broad + Liberty here and here.

Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas

Pennsylvania is the second largest producer of natural gas in the country! Our Commonwealth benefits from the job creation, the tax revenue, and the decreased CO2 levels because of the natural gas extracted, transported, sold, and used by people across the state, the country, and even the world. Although many are concerned about new pipelines being installed, what we don’t know is how many miles of pipeline already exist. In fact, according to State Impact Pennsylvania, no one really knows how many miles of pipeline exist. What we do know is that pipelines have been essential to Pennsylvania’s energy renaissance and have been deemed the safest and most environmentally friendly way to transport natural gas and oil from ground to end user. Our partner Broad + Liberty had an article which can be viewed here regarding Pennsylvania pipelines. 

Although many think of Pennsylvania’s natural gas as the fuel to heat homes, you might be surprised by the many common items that are made from this natural resource.  The following comes from the Marcellus Shale Coalition:

With so many products that many would consider necessary to our daily life coming from a natural resource which is plentiful in our state, why are we not seeing more of a benefit?  Perhaps we should refer back to the RGGI in the electricity section to find the answer.

Renewable Resources

Everyone wants to be good stewards of the environment, and many have turned to solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles (EV) to aid in the effort. But how are the components of those environment-saving methods sourced? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, many of the critical components necessary for the production of solar panels, wind turbines, and EV batteries are mostly obtained from foreign countries. 

One of the key components in the production of EV lithium-ion batteries is cobalt. The Democratic Republic of the Congo mines and produces 70% of the world’s cobalt. In addition, according to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, “China processes over 90% of the rare earth minerals and elements used to manufacture solar and wind components as well as EVs.”  So, even if other countries produce these rare elements, most turn to China to refine them for the manufacturing process. 

Source:  International Energy Agency

With many of the renewable resource components derived or processed in foreign countries, some of which have poor environmental and child labor records, we question if the benefits outweigh the costs. Is some person(s), entity(ies) or country(ies) profiting from the world’s push to increase the use of renewable resources?  

How Much is Enough?

PragerU produced an excellent piece with Mark Mills from the Manhattan Institute, answering that question.