By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf made his first visit today to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia, to address the Association of Energy Engineers.READ MORE: In-Person Visits At Pennsylvania State Prison Pausing Thursday Due To COVID-19-Related Issues Among Staff
The governor reassured the group of his support for the state’s flourishing natural gas industry.
“I want this industry to work, because it could be a source of really great jobs,” Wolf told them. “It could be a source of really great energy.”
But he also reaffirmed his commitment to an extraction tax, “because I want all Pennsylvanians to feel there’s a partnership between what happens in the gas fields and what happens in the classrooms of the schools in their neighborhoods.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Confidence Growing Major Storm Could Bring Significant Impacts To Delaware Valley This Weekend
Though natural gas company officials oppose the tax plan that Wolf unveiled last week, engineers were less hostile.
“It’s a consistent way to derive income from drilling in the state,” said Christine Batchelor, president of the local chapter of the association. “It’s what they do in Texas, it’s what they do in Arkansas, it’s what they’re doing in the Dakotas.”
Gov. Wolf says he hopes the industry will also be drawn by another state resource.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Police Officer Has Strong Message For Son's Killers After Hyram Hill Killed In Targeted Shooting
“We have institutions of higher education, full of fresh ideas, just like you are,” he said.