Pa. House sends major gas-drilling bill to Corbett

arimoore via flickr

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A major bill to impose a fee on natural-gas drilling in Pennsylvania and toughen regulations over the booming industry is on its way to Gov. Tom Corbett's desk.
    
The state House voted 101-90 yesterday after two days of debate.The Senate passed it Tuesday. Corbett negotiated the bill with Republican legislative leaders and is expected to sign it.
    
Democrats weren't included in negotiations and were strongly critical of provisions limiting the ability of municipalities to control drilling activity.
    
Pennsylvania is the largest gas-producing state that doesn't tax it.
    
Several conservative groups say the fee is really a tax, while
exploration company Range Resources says it'll provide strong, more
predictable regulations that are more costly.
    
Local governments would decide whether to impose the fee on their local wells.