Updated: August 6, 2012, 8:41 AM
Pennsylvania remains the largest state without a tax on natural gas production, thanks in part to a study released under the banner of Penn State University.
The 2009 report predicted drillers would shun Pennsylvania if new taxes were imposed, and lawmakers cited that report the following year when they rejected a 5 percent tax proposed by then-Gov. Ed Rendell.
"As an advocacy tool, it worked," Michael Wood, research director with the nonprofit Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center in Harrisburg, Pa., said in an interview. "If people wanted to find a reason to vote against having the industry taxed in that way, that gave them reason to do it."
What the study didn't do was note that it was sponsored by gas drillers and led by an economist, now at the University of Wyoming, with a history of producing industry-friendly research on economic and energy issues. The researcher, Tim Considine, said his analysis was sound and not biased by industry funding.
TAX FREE! OMG...There are a few choice words I want to use here, but I won't. Tax Free and a get out of jail free card. WTF?