The Pennsylvania Senate has just a few days remaining in this session and Governor Ed Rendell is calling on them to meet an obligation made at the time a budget was approved in July. Rendell and legislative leaders agreed to pass a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas by October 1. The House approved a severance tax last week....39 cents per thousand cubic feet..... a much higher rate than the governor requested.
The governor sent a letter to Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati and Senate GOP leader Domdinic Pileggi.........."I understand that in your estimation, the bill passed by the House is inherently flawed. I am certain there are ways to resolve the problems associated with the bill or its construct. What's important here is that the House lived up to its end of the bargain and passed a tax bill for your consideration. It's now time for you to make the next move to bring this matter to a close and say what you believe makes sense on the specifics of rate, approach and the use of the funds."
Rendell urged the Senate leaders to address the issue with a sense of urgency because Pennsylvania's roads, waterways and other infrastructure are being overburdened by the expansion of drilling......"The time has come for these companies to stop taxing our resources and challenging our environment and instead for us to tax them and apply these new revenues to improve our communities and protect our environment."