Thursday, February 28, 2008

Governor's, Sheffield Nelson's plans differ

Beebe negotiating on severance tax 2/27/08

According to The Morning News, "Beebe opposes Nelson's plan because it would divvy proceeds of the tax increase among higher education, highway improvements and local governments. The governor wants to earmark an increase strictly to highways."

Nelson's plan is obviously written from an insider's perspective. He knows what is reasonable from the industry standpoint and he wants to spread the proceeds to benefit more people. However, neither plan mentions environmental problems related to gas production and drilling.

An equal share to guarantee environmental protectioin would help everyone. At a minimum, the fee should provide ongoing funding for a huge staff of inspectors with the power to instantly enforce environmental laws on well sites and roads built to drilling sites.

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