HARRISBURG (CBS) — Still seething over the breakdown of negotiations to impose a tax on the natural gas drilling industry, Governor Ed Rendell signed an executive order Tuesday that will put the brakes on future drilling on state forest land in the gas-rich “Marcellus Shale” formation.
Senate Republicans have vowed not to return after the election to consider a natural gas drilling tax, saying lame duck lawmakers should not make major policy decisions at a time when they are less accountable to voters.
But Governor Rendell said again on Monday that they should come back, “It is absolutely irresponsible for them to do what they did on Marcellus Shale. It is also a violation of the promise that they made to the people of Pennsylvania.”
The governor signed what’s being billed as an executive order, “instituting a strategic moratorium on future drilling operations in the state.” Rendell claims the move is not an effort to pressure Senate Republicans to resume negotiations on a tax.
It should also be noted that Rendell has less than three months remaining in office and the next governor can change the order.
Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio.