Sorry PennFuture, No Gas Tax for Staycations


That didn’t take long. After Senate Republican leaders Joe Scarnati, Dominic Pileggi, and Jake Corman notified Gov. Ed Rendell of their “best offer” for a tax plan on the natural gas industry, they’re under attack because the governor, environmental pressure groups and the media deem it insufficient. According to the Philly Inquirer, Rendell has said he cannot sign such a proposal into law.

Predictably PennFuture, which has lobbied for a “robust” severance tax, issued a rant release:

“The latest letter from Senators Scarnati, Pileggi and Corman responding to the Governor’s compromise tax proposal makes it clear that they are unwilling to budge from their position – a position identical to what the gas drillers want as was laid out in the memo from the Marcellus Shale Coalition.”

This was after PennFuture whined that the Growing Greener slush fund — you know, the pork stash that the Rendell administration is using to fund projects like water parks — was getting low:

News that Ebensburg landed the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant is expected to mean council will pick a flashier, $1.1 million option for pool upgrades – a plan that includes a redesigned pool, tube slides and water play park for children – without footing most of the bill….

Many projects funded were “staycation” spots like Ebensburg’s pool, DCNR Secretary John Quigley said.

For this, the Senate was supposed to come up with a more “robust” tax. Whee!