Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pennsylvania activists form alternative Marcellus Shale commission

Washington (Platts)--30Aug2011/509 pm EDT/2109 GMT

Saying the Marcellus Shale Commission reporting to Pennsylvania's Republican Governor Tom Corbett heard too much from business and industry and not enough from the residents of communities affected by natural gas drilling, eight political and environmental groups from the state on Tuesday announced their own "Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission" that will hold five public hearings beginning Wednesday.

The Citizens Marcellus Shale Coalition, headed by two former state representatives from both political parties, will hold its first public hearing August 31 in the southwestern Pennsylvania town of McDonald. A second public hearing has been set for September 6 in Philadelphia on the eve of the gas industry's Marcellus Shale Insight conference scheduled for September 7 and 8 in the city's convention center.

Organizers say the timing is coincidental.

"Right now is the key time because the legislature is dealing with it," former State Representative Dan Surra, a Democrat from Elk County told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. "Right now we have to get it right. There are places in Pennsylvania that are being inundated with drilling."

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