If Gov. Tom Corbett is serious about addressing the state's need for transportation funding, he could hardly pick a worse time.
Drivers are squeezed by rising pump prices that are expected to go much higher in the coming weeks.
In 2010, a state panel said Pennsylvania was underfunding its transportation needs by $3.5 billion a year.
It would be nearly impossible to significantly address the state's transportation shortfall without some adjustment in how fuel is taxed, which won't be popular with drivers already struggling to fill their vehicle tanks.
So we are skeptical about a report that the governor, who has left transportation funding sit on the sidelines for months, now may be willing to tackle the issue.
Capitolwire last week quoted Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, as saying the governor, perhaps in March, is interested in working with legislators on a transportation funding plan.
Corbett rightfully has been taking heat from Democrats and Republicans about the failure to address transportation after a governor's commission issued a comprehensive recommendation last summer.
This month, House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, hit a nerve with Corbett by suggesting changing PennDOT's name to "The Department of Deferred Maintenance."
Corbett lashed back, trying to deflect blame back on Democrats and former Gov. Ed Rendell.
Regardless of what happened or didn't happen in the past, Corbett is governor now, which makes transportation funding his responsibility. And the governor hasn't taken leadership in pushing for a solution.
Is he really going to do it in an election year when gasoline prices in the state might reach record levels?
Perhaps Corbett will surprise us and stick out his neck on transportation funding.
But given what we've seen thus far, we won't be surprised if the governor allows the matter to linger until fuel prices begin to fall.