A planned severance tax on gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania needs to be "fair," so that it doesn't discourage gas drilling, according to the director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

"The Marcellus Shale is not the only shale play that is under development" in the United States, said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director the Marcellus Shale Coalition. "There is a lot of competition for dollars" to develop gas wells, she said.

Pennsylvania needs to stay "ahead of the curve in terms of investment" in gas drilling, Klaber said in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.

The state budget bill that Gov. Ed Rendell signed on Tuesday sets up action this fall on a natural gas severance tax.

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