Moving forward with empty chairs?

Posted by By at 11 October, at 16 : 43 PM Print

Governor Rendell played host this afternoon to some empty chairs as he angled for  a breakthrough that will lead to taxing drillers for extracting shale gas from the Marcellus.

He wanted to meet with Senate Republicans, but as RocktheCapital reported on Friday the Republican leadership rebuffed the governor’s invitation.

Rendel did, however, gather with representatives from the four largest drilling companies in Pennyslvania.Rendell spokesperson, Gary Tuma, described the meeting, “there was significant progress but no agreement, which obviously would not have been positive without the Senate Republicans present anyway.”

The proposed gas tax has hit snags since it was passed out of the house. Senate Republicans have balked at the constitutionality of the measure and a proposed tax rate of  39 cents for every thousand cubic feet of gas drilled. Making it the most expensive severance tax of its kind in the U.S.

Realistically, the Senate has three days to work out a compromise and put it out  for a vote.

Senate Republicans invited Governor Rendell to meet with them on Tuesday. Tuma says the governor will indeed take them up on that invitation.

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