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Support for renewable energy will wane. In Pa., natural gas and coal industries will thrive.

So much for the Age of Aquarius.

So much for the Age of Aquarius.

The Republican landslides in Washington and Harrisburg will slow the growth of government support for renewable energy. And fossil-fuel interests that supply 70 percent of the nation's electricity will face less pressure.

President Obama, who was unable to persuade a Democratic Congress to pass the "cap-and-trade" program to limit global warming, pretty much declared it dead Wednesday.

In an apparent search for common ground with Republicans, Obama sounded more bullish on natural gas, saying there are "terrific natural gas resources" in the United States. Those would include the Marcellus Shale reserve in Pennsylvania, whose development is fueling an economic boom and an environmental backlash.

In Washington, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell signaled an interest in working with Obama to support nuclear power and clean-coal technology. Both methods would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, one of the principal sources of global warming.

In Harrisburg, where Gov.-elect Tom Corbett will be supported by Republican majorities in both houses, the powerful natural gas and coal industries are likely to be more warmly welcomed than they were by the Democrats.

Corbett has promised to overturn Gov. Rendell's moratorium on additional leasing of state forest lands for gas drilling, one of the few ways the new governor can generate revenue to offset impending budget deficits without raising taxes.

And the industry will press for a host of potentially controversial changes to Pennsylvania's oil and gas laws to ease operations. Kathryn Z. Klaber, executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said the industry was looking for "a very healthy fresh start" in Harrisburg.

The state's enforcement efforts should not be affected - the agencies are staffed by professionals who are pledged to uphold the existing laws.

A debate over a natural gas severance tax, which Rendell failed to accomplish in two years, will be revived.

Just do not call it a tax.

"We do cause inconvenience for the communities that we touch, and we do create costs," said David L. Porges, chief executive officer of EQT Corp., a Pittsburgh regional energy company that has supported a charge that would be paid to local communities affected by drilling. "We should be paying our way."

Porges said EQT already included a 5 percent tax in its calculations when it evaluated the economics of a project.

"The issues we get into are when somebody decides we're the piggy bank that should be broken into to solve economic problems that we did not create."