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Maryland Panel Makes Recommendations On Marcellus Shale To General Assembly

January 25th, 2012 by WCBC Radio

A Maryland panel has recommended in a report that the General Assembly impose a fee on gas leases in the Marcellus Shale to fund studies about the impact of drilling in far western Maryland. The report, the first of three, also recommended that lawmakers should enact an appropriate state-level severance tax based on the value of the natural gas that is extracted. The panel recommends that revenue from the tax go into a Shale Gas Impact Fund to be used for continuing regional monitoring. The fund also would be used to address the impact of gas exploration and production that cannot be attributed to a specific operator. The report was careful to note, however, that there is still work to be done to determine whether natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale in Maryland can be done without unacceptable risks to public health and the environment. Lawmakers in Garrett and Allegany counties are not happy with the notion of two more years of study before any drilling could actually occur to allow the economically distressed region reap the potential rewards. Delegate Leroy Myers said it’s another example of the administration’s extreme positions taken in regards to any environmental issues…

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