Gas industry rallies at Capitol, teased by critics

Written by The Associated Press | May 6, 2014 3:06 PM

Photo by Brian Cohen / The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project

(Harrisburg) -- A rally promoting Pennsylvania's booming natural gas drilling industry filled the front steps of the state Capitol, where the industry has an ally in the governor's office and lobbying muscle to flex with lawmakers.

Promoters say today's rally was intended to send the message that the industry is creating employment, providing a cleaner energy option and strengthening national security.

Attendees included gas utility employees and labor union members.

Ralliers, however, were needled along the way by protesters. As they marched from nearby City Island, protester Gene Stilp marched in front, carrying a big yellow sign reading, "Tax the frackers behind me.''

Inside the Capitol, the industry is playing defense as lawmakers consider raising its taxes and limiting the ability to deduct costs before paying landowner royalties.

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