Top Rendell aide quits to join gas driller

Philadelphia Inquirer (Oct 7):
Top Rendell aide quits to join gas driller

An interesting bit of news: A top aide to Gov. Ed Rendell is stepping down to take a job in the drilling industry:

K. Scott Roy is stepping down as the $146,000-a-year executive deputy chief of staff to Rendell to become vice president for government relations and regulatory affairs for Range Resources Corp., a Texas-based company with a major drilling stake in Pennsylvania.

And another bit of interesting news found in this article is that Gov. Rendell wants to forego an extraction tax–for now (although the Democrats in the legislature are still trying to get a tax passed for this year):

[Rendell’s call for an extraction tax] changed Aug. 31. In a move that took even some of his top aides by surprise, Rendell said at a news briefing that he was giving up his push for the tax this year.

He said he changed his mind after meeting with industry executives who convinced him that imposing the tax now would stunt the growth of drilling in the state.

“We felt we should let the industry get off to a good start, and that surpasses our need for money,” Rendell said Aug. 31. He said he favored starting such a tax next year.

The article is mostly quoting eco-nut groups moaning about a potential conflict of interest by Mr. Roy’s “sellout” to the drilling industry.