This week will see a big effort by Republican leaders to move a bill enacting a drilling fee and new limits on local zoning authority of gas drilling by municipalities. Raising revenue and local zoning limits are being linked.
The action is in the Senate first, but negotiations involve the Speaker of the House too, in an effort to fashion a bill that can be passed with Republican votes and leave the Democrats on the sideline.
Apparently a sweetner for Southeast Pennsylvania Republicans will be some money--not clear how much--for Growing Greener, the popular program that invests in environmental improvement projects. The money somehow would be raised for this statewide program through the county fee.
Depending on the details concerning the fee, the amount for Growing Greener, and limits on zoning, this bill will be controversial or highly controversial. Its prospects are uncertain, even though considerable muscle is being put behind this effort to pass a county-based drilling fee. Stay tuned.