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Drilling Bill Poised For Vote Today In Pa. Legislature

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The Pennsylvania House and Senate could vote as soon as today on a compromise bill to regulate and impose fees on the natural gas drilling industry in the state.

Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader, says the bill would raise $180-million the first year, retroactive to 2011, and more in later years, including $211-million this year.

And with regard to regulation of natural gas drilling, Pileggi says the bill would strike a balance between state and local control. “I’m not sure that those who wanted total state control would be satisfied, or those who wanted total local control would be satisfied. But again, it’s a midpoint.”

But the compromise represents a deal between Republicans who control the legislature and Governor Corbett.

Senate Democrat Jim Ferlo of Pittsburgh accused the majority party of ramming through hastily conceived legislation. “The process is outrageous. The process runs roughshod over the needs and views and concerns of constituents.”

Ferlo promised a “battle royal” going forward.

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