Much of the talk surrounding the pro-Severance Tax argument has been based upon education funding in the Commonwealth, or rather, lack there-of, according to Governor Wolf supporters. But, what many of the supporters do not realize is that the oil and gas industry, including Cabot, promotes education, education funding and workforce development more than anyone knows. This year alone, Cabot plans to donate over $1 million explicitly towards education in the Commonwealth. Cabot has a strong tie to the community in which it operates and loves to give back to help these communities, as well.
Cabot Gives Back
A recent blog post on Well Said explains that Cabot has sponsored and continues to sponsor the work of Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center through equipment donations, in-classroom guidance as well as through scholarships. Due to the success of this program, Cabot decided to continue its education promotion by awarding six educational grants career and technical programs throughout Pennsylvania. Each $10,000 grant helps each awarded school to buy new supplies, fund new instructors as well as make student scholarships available.
For the Future
Stay tuned for more education promoting programs that Cabot will pursue in the remainder of 2015 but, until then, the focus should be shifted towards Governor Wolf and his proposed Severance Tax on the natural gas industry. A Severance Tax on the industry will not help fund education like Governor Wolf is promising, but will simply go to the general fund in Harrisburg.
It should be noted that Cabot isn’t alone in its efforts – many of the E&P companies (like Cabot, Chief, Seneca Resources, and Southwestern) are heavily involved in school programs as are midstream companies (like Williams) and many of the contractors down the supply chain (like Selman & Associates, Rain for Rent and Comtech).
A Severance Tax won’t help education; it will over-tax an industry that is organically giving back already.