Senate Republican leaders hold all the cards right now, in the debate over a natural gas severance tax in Pennsylvania.
Top Republicans skipped Governor Rendell’s Monday meeting on the issue.
Rendell called the meeting a “terrific discussion” on what should and shouldn’t be in a compromise natural gas severance tax.
But the most important players, Senate Republican leaders, weren’t at the table Monday.
When a reporter asked whether Rendell was disappointed the GOP leaders skipped the session, Rendell sighed and paused.
"I’ve stopped being disappointed."
Rendell said the meeting touched on several different options for a tax rate.
"Certainly, the original West Virginia proposal, the House proposal. Those are two options. The industry’s looking at something a little down from that. Nothing’s been agreed upon yet."
Senate Republican spokesman Erik Arneson says the caucus continues to work through the issue, though.
"In terms of the calendar and how things move across the desk, there is no difference between a meeting on Monday afternoon or a meeting first-thing Tuesday morning."
The Senate’s tax proposal would set a 1.5 percent rate for the first five years of a well’s operation, and then increase to 5 percent.
Rendell and top House Democrats say that’s much too low.