HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — With the clock winding down, Governor Rendell says the effort to enact a tax on natural gas drilling before he leaves office has “broken down.”

A Tuesday morning meeting between Governor Rendell and legislative leaders produced no deal on a natural gas extraction tax, and the governor says leaders of the GOP-controlled State Senate are reneging on a promise to pass such a tax.

Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati (at right in photo below), who’s also the top Republican in the Senate, says he made a good-faith effort to get a gas drilling tax passed:

“I can look anybody in the eye and tell anybody that the Senate Republicans lived up to the intent that we put in the fiscal code to work through a complete policy.”

scarnatipileggi bg romeo Rendell: Failure to Pass Gas Drilling Tax is A Bunch of Bull

(Pa. lieutenant governor Joe Scarnati, accompanied by state senate majority leader Dominic Pileggi, speaks on Tuesday in Harrisburg.)

Scarnati believes a natural gas tax bill passed by the Pennsylvania House is constitutionally flawed and says the governor has stepped into the debate at the last minute.

Rendell (in top phot0) shoots back:

“This procedural roadblock they’ve been throwing up is a bunch of bull. If they want to get it done they can get it done.”

Thursday is the last scheduled state Senate session day for the year, but leaders have held out the possibility of adding more days.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo.

Photos by Tony Romeo

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