Just how toxic? See today's massive Philadelphia Daily News story at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20110629_How_a_natural-gas_tycoon_tapped_into_Corbett.html?viewAll=y&c=y.
Huge cuts to education and no drilling tax have created a fireball of public anger and a lot of public anger is falling on the gas industry. The gas industry for more than a year has been split on the question of the drilling tax, with companies like EQT, Range, and Chesapeake publicly indicating support for one. The failure to pass a drilling tax last October after the House Democrats passed it twice in 2010 remains a disaster for the state and the industry.
Governor Corbett is proudly and primarily responsible for the drilling tax not passing now when it could have played a role in preventing massive education cuts. The Governor adamantly opposes a drilling tax and threatened to veto even an impact fee if it was part of the budget.
The only winners in this circumstance are House and Senate Democrats who now have an enormous issue gift wrapped for them.
What comes next? The drilling tax issue will not go away. It will just get hotter and insiders are saying something will be done in the Fall.
Meanwhile the public overwhelmingly sides with laid off teachers, children losing kindergartens and schools, and taxpayers facing rising property taxes to make up partially for state education cuts.