08-18-2017
08-18-2017 Seriously, Pennsylvania, pass a severance tax already
Like the Energizer Bunny, Pennsylvania’s budget mess keeps going and  going and going, as the politicians in Harrisburg cannot agree on a way to  fund the spending that they have already approved. One of the sticking  points is the unwillingness to implement a severance tax on natural-gas...  - Philadelphia Inquirer

08-18-2017 Pa.'s M.I.A. budget: Any day now?
On Wednesday, state Treasurer Joe Torsella announced a “troubling  development”: release of a $750 million loan that the state must repay,  with interest, within a week. He'd earlier said the money will “prop up  the General Fund,” absent a revenue plan closing the $2.2 billion gap...  - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

08-18-2017 LETTER Additional energy taxes will hurt consumers, producers
We’re disappointed in the continued calls for massive energy tax  increases that will be shouldered by consumers and harm Pennsylvania’s  economic competitiveness.  Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry already is taxed. Period. The  impact tax has generated $1.2 billion in new revenue for communities and...  - Washington Observer-Reporter

08-18-2017 David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, speaks at a DuBois Chamber luncheon
DuBOIS — In 2014, when David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus  Shale Coalition, last spoke to members of the Greater DuBois Chamber of  Commerce & Economic Development, Marcellus Shale gas drilling was coming  off the high part of development in Pennsylvania....  - DuBois Courier-Express

08-18-2017 Power grid operator offers alternatives to natural gas plant but at higher cost
The manager of California’s electric grid told state regulators that  clean energy could be substituted for a proposed natural gas plant in  Ventura County but at a higher cost.  A 46-page report issued late Wednesday by the California Independent System  Operator offered three alternatives to building the Puente natural gas...  - Los Angeles Times

08-18-2017 Three Mile Island's shutdown will reverberate across the local economy - that can't be allowed to happen
Three Mile Island will close in 2019 unless our representatives in  Harrisburg agree on policy reform that would keep this important business  and crucial energy source open.  If TMI closes prematurely, before its useful lifespan has expired, 675  people in our community with well-paying and highly skilled jobs will find...  - Penn Live, Patriot-News

08-17-2017 PoliticsPA: API Poll: Pennsylvanians Against Helping the Nuclear Industry
  (Press Release)

08-17-2017 Treasurer: Bailing out Pa. general fund with 2nd loan would be 'substantial risk'
HARRISBURG — State Treasurer Joe Torsella warned legislators Wednesday  that the state's primary bank account will likely run out of money twice  this month — and he'll be reluctant to approve a second loan unless  legislators quickly pass a responsible revenue package to balance the...  - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

08-17-2017 Our view: Vacation's over, time to finish the budget
Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled Legislature passed a $32 billion 2017-18  spending plan on time with no opposition from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who  let it lapse into law without his signature. The figure was not far off his  initial proposal.  Left undone, however, was the revenue plan to cover a $2.2 billion...  - Erie Times-News

08-17-2017 Amtran to seek funds for more CNG buses
Amtran plans to apply for about $3.1 million in federal and state grants  for six new compressed natural gas buses — in addition to three it has  ordered for delivery next year.  Success in obtaining the grants would give the authority 12 CNG buses among  its 26-vehicle fleet to run on fuel provided by a CNG fueling station that...  - Altoona Mirror

08-17-2017 Lawmakers failed to reform pension plans
Since the state Legislature has failed in its duty to reform public pension  plans, it is largely up to the pension plans themselves to inch toward  solvency within the context of the existing laws.  While tweaking the huge plans for public school and state government...  - Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice

08-17-2017 Poll: Overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians oppose nuclear bailout by Legislature
An overwhelming number of Pennsylvanians oppose any kind of legislation  that would result in a bailout of the nuclear energy industry, according to  a new poll.  The poll, conducted in late July, surveyed 800 Pennsylvanians by telephone  and asked if they would support legislation that would enact a special fee...  - Beaver County Times

08-16-2017 API: PA Voters Reject Bailouts for Nuclear Power Companies, Says New Poll
  (Press Release)

08-16-2017 API-PA Releases Results Of Poll On Bailing Out Nuclear Power Companies
  (Around the Capital)

08-16-2017 Cut SERS investment fees
In June, Pennsylvania took an important step regarding its $70  billion-plus in unfunded public pension liabilities — a new law giving  new employees 401(k)-style options in addition to traditional plans. Now,  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale wants the State Employees' Retirement...  - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

08-16-2017 Opinion: Three Mile Island and what Exelon won't tell you
Exelon has been targeting the media, elected officials, and the public with  doomsday predictions regarding the closure of Three Mile Island Unit-1.  Their numbers are misleading, don't add up, and fail to account for the  $1.1 billion rate payers were charged to build Three Mile Island, the $987...  - York Daily

08-16-2017 PA and other states worry about life after gas tax
As more people plug in their cars, transportation planners are starting to  wonder how Pennsylvania and other states will plug budget holes if gas tax  revenue begins to decline.  That’s the issue at the heart of a federally-funded study underway by a  group called the I-95 Coalition, a transportation policy organization...  - New Castle News

08-15-2017 Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Pipeline Upgrade Ensures Continued Delivery of...
  (Press Release)

08-15-2017 Ortitay hosting Taxpayers’ Caucus meeting
Rep. Jason Ortitay will host the Taxpayers’ Caucus for a hearing  Tuesday on the state Senate’s proposed revenue plan for the state  budget, and its potential effects on small businesses and Pennsylvania  citizens.  The event begins at 1 p.m. at Bridgeville Fire Department, 370 Commercial...  - Washington Observer-Reporter

08-15-2017 West Penn projects aim to reduce number and duration of power outages
West Penn Power is completing work on power line and substation projects,  part of a program to reduce the number and duration of power outages for  its 720,000 customers.  Valued at $21 million, the work involves enhanced protective devices on  wires and poles, rebuilding electric lines, including replacing damaged...  - Uniontown Herald-Standard

08-15-2017 Local lawmakers not optimistic about a budget deal
Local lawmakers said the budget impasse may continue because they do not  believe the House will pass the Senate's version of the fiscal code.  Both chambers passed a nearly $32 billion spending plan on June 30 but  still do not have a way to pay for a $1.5 billion shortfall and a $700...  - Somerset Daily

08-15-2017 Turzai proving his unsuitability to be governor
The 2018 election of Pennsylvania’s next governor is more than a year  away, but one Republican aspirant has just demonstrated why he ought not to  hold the office.  State Rep. Mike Turzai leads the House of Representatives as its Speaker.  But on July 18, Turzai walked out on budget negotiations with Senate...  - DuBois Courier-Express

08-14-2017 Exelon and ComEd Announce Communications Leadership Roles
  (Press Release)

08-14-2017 We have an alternative to Pa. tax hikes (column)
Pennsylvania’s 2017-18 state budget remains incomplete. We have in  place a plan to spend taxpayer dollars but not a fiscally responsible plan  for how we will pay for all that spending. That is the primary reason I  opposed HB218, the general appropriations portion of the budget...  - York Daily

08-14-2017 Legislature should start legislating
Decision-making quicksand within Pennsylvania’s state government  continues to impede progress in completing work related to the $32 billion  2017-18 state budget — the spending part of which was passed and signed  into law about a month and a half ago.  There’s no sign that the current stalemate over fully funding the...  - Altoona Mirror

08-14-2017 A tax by any other name ...
Pennsylvania Senate Republicans have come up with a way to pay for the  budget they approved. As you might have expected, despite their expressed  opposition to raising taxes, the senators have proposed raising taxes. Not  in so many words and not your taxes directly — unless you use natural...  - Levittown Intelligencer

08-14-2017 National Fuel customers to see increase in monthly bill
Customers of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. will pay a little more  for natural gas per month starting this month.  According to a recent press release, National Fuel Gas Distribution  Corporation (National Fuel) has submitted to the Pennsylvania Public  Utility Commission its annual adjustment to gas supply charges. This...  - Warren Times Observer

08-14-2017 Pa. needs to get its revenue act together
What's not to like about the Pennsylvania Senate's attempt to balance the  state's out-of-kilter budget? Let us count the ways.  Last month the Senate tried to accomplish what the House could not,  approving a bill to fill the missing revenue side of the budget. Both...  - Easton Express-Times

08-14-2017 Editorial: Disorder in the House: Pa.’s budget blues
Here’s a little twist on that old summer homework standby, “What I  did on my summer vacation.”  Only this time, we’re not directing this at students.  Instead, we’d like to hear from our duly elected state representatives.  That’s our way of wondering what exactly House Speaker Mike Turzai and...  - Primos Delaware County Daily and Sunday Times

08-13-2017 Start state cost-cutting in the Legislature
Topic: Pennsylvania lawmakers and $2 billion budget gap  Lawmakers: Want to make some tough choices on the budget cuts? Here are  some suggestions from a taxpayer:  1) Cut the 253 membership of the Legislature to under 150.  2) Cut the salary of the legislators (second-highest in the country)....  - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

08-13-2017 Budget slackers: State House betrays citizens by ignoring deadline
The state Legislature has one big job every year: passing a budget. The  deadline is the same every year: June 30. The outcome is pretty much the  same every year: It doesn’t get done, and lawmakers posture while  hardworking Pennsylvanians — who actually have to meet deadlines at...  - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

08-13-2017 Lawmakers on vacation, from what?
Say what you will about Pennsylvania legislators, but they are committed  — at least to their own prerogatives.  They fled the Capitol for a six-week summer vacation after passing half of  a budget — the $32 billion in spending part. They did not fund the  budget, and left a yawning $2.2 billion deficit despite warnings from major...  - Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice

08-13-2017 44 days without a complete state budget
The state Legislature is more than six weeks past its constitutional  deadline to pass a complete 2017-18 budget. Lawmakers in late June approved  a $32 billion spending plan but no revenue package to balance it.  The Senate on July 27 passed a $2.2 billion revenue package that is meant...  - Erie Times-News

08-13-2017 State leaders regularly ignore the rule of law: Letters to the editor
We are constantly reminded that “the rule of law” is the basic  fabric of our country. Why do we ignore the fact that the government of  Pennsylvania regularly fails to provide a balanced annual budget on  schedule?  The governor and the legislative leaders should be challenged in court. The...  - Erie Times-News


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