Perhaps on one point regarding the natural gas impact fee, local House members agree: It is not a perfect piece of legislation.
But state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, who opposed the bill, said it would be wrong to call it a compromise.
"This bill was a great bill for certain people," he said. "For the general public, this was bad policy."
Mirabito said under the legislation, which passed through both Houses this week, citizens are being treated like second-class citizens.
From the perspective of both giving up local control on zoning and raising revenues, people are losing out, he said.
State Reps. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, and Matthew E. Baker, R-Wellsboro, who voted in favor of the measure, disagree.
"The statement that it takes all municipal control away is not true," Everett said.
Yes, he said, the bill does restrict local zoning. But municipalities cannot simply ban drilling, which, he said, is what many people opposed to this legislation would like to see.
A number of environmental groups made it clear they are opposed to the impact fee, which passed through the House 101-90, with most Republicans supporting the measure and most Democrats opposing it.
The Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Earthworks, PennEnvironment and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania circulated a letter this week outlining their opposition.
Among their statements was that the Legislature "effectively supported a takeover of municipalities by the state and the gas industry by gutting established and effective local planning and zoning rights."
Baker said many more conservation groups supported the measure. He disagreed that the legislation, in effect, surrenders local zoning control.
"Without this legislation, I don't think there was any control," he said. "I think the opposition feels it didn't go far enough."
The bill would require municipalities to open drilling in all zones, including residential. However, it also would allow municipalities to apply zoning standards on lighting, noise and structures used for other industrial activities.
Mirabito said in other states with natural gas drilling, such as Texas, local zoning has not been compromised.
Despite what some people argue, the gas industry should not be treated like any other industry, he contended.
"We don't stick industry just anywhere," he said. "When someone bought a home, they didn't expect to have a compressor station near their house. There is a way to have balance to it."
Everett said the drilling simply must be done in those sites where the gas is located.
Much of the money from the fee would go to environmental improvement, noted Everett and Baker. It also would go to infrastructure improvement, purchase of natural gas-powered fleet vehicles, construction of affordable housing, development of a petrochemical refinery in southwestern Pennsylvania, and reuse of three Philadelphia-area oil refineries.
Mirabito said the environment cannot be compromised and, although drillers may not be out to intentionally destroy nature, gas spills and other accidents will happen.
The state Department of Environmental Protection already has less resources for regulating the industry.
Was it any coincidence, he asked, that the number of gas wells operating in the state was under-counted by about 500?
"Are there other things we don't know about?" he said. "I have complete respect for DEP, but people are human. You can only do so much."
Under the impact fee, some $180 million would be raised in the first year and an estimated $1 billion during the first five years, according to Republicans.
The fee, in effect over 15 years, would amount to a tax rate of about 3 percent by some estimates but would fluctuate according to gas prices.
Mirabito said the state could have imposed a fee that would bring in much more revenue. Additional dollars, he said, would better compensate local municipalities impacted by drilling.
Baker warned against imposing too expensive fees on drillers. After all, he said, there is competition for natural gas, not only in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, but worldwide.
Besides, gas companies already are paying taxes, compensating municipalities for damage to roads from truck traffic and bringing the state thousands of jobs.
Mirabito argued that the drillers aren't going anywhere and pointed out that gas companies have deep pockets.
The chief executives of the six major gas companies, he noted, were handed bonuses totalling $64 million in 2010.
"People are going to say this was a great compromise. It was not a compromise," he said. "I have never gotten as many emails on a subject as I got on this, asking me to oppose this."
He called the legislation a "backroom deal" hashed out by the legislative leadership.
State Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, who voted in favor of the bill, could not be reached for comment.