The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

May 6, 2014

Gas industry rallies at state Capitol

By Marc Levy
The Associated Press

— HARRISBURG — A rally promoting booming Pennsylvania’s natural gas drilling industry filled the front steps of the state Capitol, where the industry has an ally in the governor’s office and lobbying muscle to flex with lawmakers.

Promoters said Tuesday’s rally was intended to send the message that the industry is creating employment, providing a cleaner energy option and strengthening national security.

Attendees included gas utility employees and labor union members.

Ralliers, however, were needled along the way by protesters. As they marched from nearby City Island, protester Gene Stilp marched in front, carrying a big yellow sign reading, “Tax the frackers behind me.”

Inside the Capitol, the industry is playing defense as lawmakers consider raising its taxes and limiting the ability to deduct costs before paying landowner royalties.