As of June 18, this fund had accumulated a value of $35.2 billion, or $51,320 per Alaskan citizen. The fund has also paid $17.5 billion directly to Alaskan citizens, or a total of $25,492 for every man, woman and child in Alaska. That does not include the dollars from oil and gas taxes spent to fund Alaskan government programs.
If the citizens of Alaska and Sarah Palin can benefit from taxing their state's oil and gas industries, why not Pennsylvanians? Our state is in terrible fiscal shape. We need funding for roads and bridges, schools and public safety.
My state senator, Don White, has opposed taxing the Marcellus Shale drilling. He has received more than $50,000 in contributions from the gas industry. Sen. Mary Jo White, who also is no proponent of a gas extraction tax, is a former Quaker State vice president.
Can they really look the citizens of Pennsylvania in the eye and say they are acting in their best interests and not in the best interests of the gas companies if they do not follow through with taxing this industry -- as lawmakers promised this week in the state budget compromise?