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Maryland Governor Appoints Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission

by Kenneth E. DuBose on July 21, 2011

Maryland’s Governor announced the Marcellus Shale Panel that will explore the risks of oil & gas development and provide guidance for how the state should regulate drilling and production. We’re just now getting the results of a similar panel’s review in Pennsylvania. Public health and the environment are the primary concerns. The 14 person panel is made up of people ranging from a geologist to a state senator. Only one oil & gas professional made the cut, so let’s hope the others at least have real business experience.

“The Marcellus Shale is the nation’s largest-known natural gas reservoir. In the last three years, drilling in Pennsylvania has transformed wide areas in the western and northern parts of the state. While it has provided an economic boost to a wide range of businesses, drilling techniques and disposal of large amounts of often-toxic drilling wastewater have raised concern about environmental damage.”"Robert Summers, secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, said the department currently has the authority in state law and regulation to place all reasonable conditions in permits necessary to provide for public safety and to protect public health and the environment.”

” ‘What is lacking is a complete understanding of the risks inherent in deep drilling and fracking and consensus about how to protect against those risks,’ Summers said in a statement.”

“The panel includes representatives from the scientific community, the gas industry, environmental groups, citizens and government officials.”

“O’Malley signed an executive order in June creating an initiative to determine whether and how gas production can be done without harming public health and the environment. Critics say O’Malley is delaying investment in the state through the initiative.”

Read the full news release at Forbes.com

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