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Another GOP lawmaker backs tax on Pennsylvania's booming shale gas drilling industry

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Another Republican state lawmaker in the Republican-controlled Legislature is lining up behind a proposal to impose a new tax on Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry.

Monroe County Rep. Mario Scavello asked fellow lawmakers Tuesday to support his forthcoming bill to impose a 5 percent tax on the highest producing shale gas wells.

He says that would generate about $600 million a year, based on 2013 production figures.

Scavello is running for a newly created state Senate seat in northeastern Pennsylvania. A GOP candidate for an open Senate seat in southeastern Pennsylvania, Tom McGarrigle, is backing a 4 percent tax while two southeastern Pennsylvania House Republicans, Tom Murt and Eugene DiGirolamo, are backing a 4.9 percent tax.

Gov. Tom Corbett opposes an extraction tax.

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