Friday, July 22, 2011

Lt. Gov. Cawley: Marcellus Shale Commission Issues Final Report

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley Friday released the final report of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, taking the first step toward developing a comprehensive and strategic plan for responsible natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
The unanimously-adopted report contains 96 policy recommendations that include tougher regulations for drilling, doubling fines for violations, creating jobs in related industries and promoting the use of natural gas vehicles.
"Today, Pennsylvania is taking an important, first step toward creating tens of thousands of jobs and leading the nation toward energy independence and doing so in an environmentally responsible way," said Cawley.
Some of the key recommendations the panel made to Governor Corbett include:
-- Increasing the distance between gas well sites and streams, private wells and public water systems;
-- Posting more information online for the public;
-- Tougher civil and criminal penalties for violators;
-- Assisting PA companies to do business with natural gas industry;
-- Training Pennsylvanians to work in the industry; and
-- Developing "Green Corridors" for vehicles powered by natural gas.
"This commission brought the industry, environmental groups and local government leaders together to the same table where we methodically and publicly worked out these comprehensive recommendations," said Cawley.
Gov. Corbett formed the 30-member commission in March, giving them 120 days to develop recommendations on all aspects of natural gas drilling. The commission held 21 public meetings, heard 60 expert presentations and reviewed more than 650 emails and letters from the public.
A copy of the report is available online.

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