State House Republicans say they will not pursue a Marcellus Shale drilling impact fee or severance tax before the summer recess.
After talk of three different amendments to attach an impact fee to a standing proposal before the House, the Republicans signaled a reversal.
The call to stand down came after Governor Tom Corbett again drew a line in the sand: that he won’t talk impact fee until he gets the final report from his appointed Marcellus Shale Impact Commission led by Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley.
"I’m going to be supporting the work of my lieutenant governor. I have sent the message back-- if something gets to my desk, it will be vetoed."
Senate President Pro Temp Joe Scarnati introduced a drilling impact fee bill and has said passing a budget would be tough without also passing a fee on drillers. But his top aide acknowledges pushing a fee in the House now would be a poor use of time.
The House Republicans say they’ll revisit the Marcellus Shale issue in the fall – after they get a report from the lieutenant governor. House Democrats have said the proposed amendments only gave the illusion that House Republicans were serious about passing an impact fee, given the Governor’s promise of a veto.