By Rebecca Torrellas, Online Editor

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, time is running out for the Pennsylvania senate to agree on a deal on proposals to tax the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

Gov. Edward G. Rendell met with Senate Republican leaders to try and agree on how high the tax should be and how the taxes should be distributed. However, neither side left the meeting with hopes of agreeing on the terms before the Nov. 2 election, according to the article.

Both Democratic leaders and Senate Republicans spoke at separate press conferences after the meeting at the state Capitol. Both Rendell and Senate President Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, only agreed that they disagree, according to the article.

The Democratic-controlled House passed a bill last month that calls for a tax of a minimum of 39 cents per 1,000 cf of natural gas produced. Senate Republican leaders find the rate to be too high, supporting 1.5 percent tax on gas produced from large wells for the first five years, at which point the rate would jump to 5%.

According to the article, Rendell supports the Democratic option.

While a compromise has been attempted, both sides are adamant about their stance. To date, Pennsylvania is the largest natural-gas-producing state that does not impose a levy on operators producing from the Marcellus Shale.

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