‘Rendell school of leverage’ grad vows to push Marcellus Shale rules

    The Pennsylvania Senate’s top Republican said he is not above leveraging one issue for another as he pushes Marcellus Shale legislation this fall.

    For months now, Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati has not appeared to be sold on the idea of selling off the state’s liquor stores.

    He says his top priority is passing Marcellus Shale legislation that includes an impact fee and new regulations on natural-gas drillers.

    Scarnati, who said he wants to pass the bill by October, said he has not ruled out the possibility that he’ll leverage another issue to do so.

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    “I went to school … I went to school for four years, (former Gov.) Ed Rendell’s school of leverage and I’ve got to tell you, there are some issues there that do help move other issues,” Scarnati said Monday. “So to the extent that we can all get things done, I’m open to getting them done.”

    House Republican leaders have made liquor-store privatization a top priority, but they’re cool to a Marcellus Shale impact fee.

    Gov. Tom Corbett, who wants to pass both, is expected to unveil a natural-gas bill later this week.

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