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State Senate Candidate Calls For Drilling Extraction Tax

Another Republican, this time a candidate for state Senate, is voicing support for a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers, largely a pet issue of Democrats.

Tom McGarrigle, running for a Delaware County seat, joins several sitting GOP senators who also support an extraction tax  to raise money for schools, infrastructure or pension obligations.

But it doesn’t mean an extraction tax is imminent.

Slapping natural gas drillers with a new tax is something more frequently proposed by Democrats.

Wes Leckrone, a political science professor at Widener University, says there’s a split in the Pennsylvania GOP on the issue.

"You have the division in the Republican Party between the no new taxes crowd, and the crowd that realizes you gotta tax somewhere, sometime, why not do it to an industry that can’t move?" he says.

The trickle of new political support doesn’t necessarily mean an extraction tax will be passed.

There’s been little action in the Senate on the issue, despite the fact it’s favored by the GOP majority leader.

The Republican-controlled House, which is more conservative than the Senate, opposes the levy.

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