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Area Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Clairify Gas Leases And Mineral Rights

February 8th, 2012 by WCBC Radio

Two area lawmakers who represent the Marcellus shale-rich areas of Western Maryland have introduced legislation to clarify issues regarding gas leases and mineral rights. One of the bills offers protections for landowners entering oil and gas leases. Delegate Wendell Beitzel and State Senator George Edwards introduced two companion bills each in the Senate and the House of Delegates.  Marcellus shale formations throughout the eastern U.S. harbor large untapped natural gas resources. The total value of the natural gas in Allegany County’s Marcellus shale could be close to $15.72 billion, with the average well earning $65,000 to $524,000 yearly. However, as a result of awaiting the work of a governor appointed committee to study various aspects of drilling- including environmental issues- no work can begin until at least 2014.  Delegate Beitzel said he believes the roadblocks are the result of environmental extremists. He says that  every new venture includes an element of risk- but those “what if” questions shouldn’t block the potential for millions of dollars in revenue for the state’s poorest jurisdictions…

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