Maryland Shale Commission Wants More Time for Study

The Laurel & Hardy Maryland Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission wants more time to complete a study to determine whether or not it’s safe to do hydraulic fracturing in the pristine state of Maryland. Anyone surprised?

The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission is asking for more time to complete a best practices study that would examine technical issues of drilling, environmental impacts and infrastructure needs.

Commission chairman David Vanko said Wednesday that the group is asking the governor to extend the timeline for the study, which was originally due to Gov. Martin O’Malley and the legislature in August.

Vanko, who is a geologist and dean of Towson University’s college of science and mathematics, believes the scope of the study is just too broad to finish the work on time. A final report could be complete by December, he said.

"We feel that we’d rather do the report right and do it correctly rather than short change ourselves and get it out for this very short deadline," Vanko said.

His group is tasked with determining whether and how natural gas should be extracted from the Marcellus Shale, a swath of sedimentary rock stretching through the Appalachian basin, a practice that some say it has contaminated water sources in other states.*

Hey, what’s another six months anyway? Those smart Maryland researchers have a lot on their plates determining whether or not several hundred thousand fracked wells over the past 40 years across the U.S. are really safe or not. Maybe they can talk to the crack researchers in New York for guidance (now four years into studying it themselves).

*The Charleston Gazette/AP (Apr 25, 2012) – Marcellus commission seeks extension on Md. drilling study

  • Anonymous

    Dear Editor,

    I am afraid you are misinformed. I am a member of the Maryland commission, and we extended the deadline for a study group formed only in February to make recommendations on Best Management Practices — not, as you say, for deciding whether it’s safe to frack. That determination will be made later, after all the information is collected and BPMs are adopted. 

    Maryland appears headed toward fracking, but state regulations were written before the first Marcellus well was ever drilled, and, even regulators agree, are deficient. Maryland is by no means pristine; we have costly legacy issues from coal-mining — costs largely born by the tax-payers that continue to damage our natural environment. Why would you take issue with a state intent upon minimizing new problems to be passed on to taxpayers? Problems associated with fracking have been cited by the energy insiders who served on the President’s commission and are reported in every community where drilling occurs. You know better? 

    Please, opinions are everyone’s right, but get your facts straight.

    Paul Roberts
    Friendsville, Md.

  • Anonymous

    I beg to differ with your comments about “opinion” Mr. Roberts, as opposed to fact. There already have been many studies on fracing. The latest was completed and posted on this site from MIT. This college is well respected and their findings from yet another money wasting study is that fracing is safe.You and your board jumped on the Anti bandwagon, before fact was presented. Someone cries foul and then Commission does has knee jerk reaction to it( banning drilling in the whole state) because they fear repercussions from the few. How many dollars have to be wasted before all Anti’s  wake up, and let those “taxpayers” use their land the way they see fit. The procrastination of people like yourself have cost ” taxpayers” millions of dollars of income, and for that matter millions of tax revenue for the state. Nothing is perfect in the world, but progressive thinking for the future of Maryland along with proper oversight should have been your only task. Now, that “You”, or “The Commission  ”  decided that it would be advantageous to allow drilling,should not have ever been your call to begin with. Mr. Roberts, you work for the people of Maryland and it is your fiduciary responsibility in a free society to answer to “all” the people, not just the ones that agree with your personal views on drilling. Jim of MDN is right on, you all dropped the ball and now the scramble to ” make it right is on”. Same thing is happening in NY. I guess there must be an election near, so now you all have to look like you did something before it is to late.Problem is for you, those “taxpayers” remember when they head into the voting booth, hopefully your headed through the same door Obama is headed, out the back and out of office. keep up the good work Jim, its time we call it like it is.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Jim, keep up the good work. That way everyone can see that disregard for the truth attracts soul-mates such as wacoyaco and calls your motives into question. It makes civil discourse almost impossible, and that is really needed right now. 

    To correct only the most obvious errors: 1) Maryland commissioners are not state employees; appointed by the governor, we receive no compensation of any kind for our public service, travel to meetings at our own expense, and have no fiduciary responsibilities; 2) many commissioners would take offense at being put on board the “anti band-wagon,” since at least five of the 14 have announced their preference for immediate drilling; 3) drilling is not banned in Maryland. I can’t believe I found anything to agree with, yet I did: “progressive thinking for the future of Maryland along with proper oversight” is our only task. Paul Roberts   

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the compliment Paul. I’m not privy as to how Maryland’s Commissioners take their seat, but,I assume its by a vote? If so, then there is most definitely a responsibility to those voters you volunteered for. I appreciate your volunteerism, as long as it does not interfere with our freedom’s.  The problem with local government officials/ Commissions,, Boards, etc. today is they just think they can do anything they want without a” process” of determining whats best for all people they serve.( Ex. small towns placing a ban on drilling). I can appreciate your views on drilling and respect them. However, when you tread on my views ( which happens to be a majority view) by using powers given to you, I have a severe problem with that. I also want answers that make sense.Not knee jerk reactions to carefully plotted lies. Simply put, a vote should have been handed out to the people if the “Commission”, was not quite sure how to proceed with drilling. With the economy still in the tank for the last five years( for most of us anyway), especially in rural areas of this country, there is a need for heavy politics and personal opinion to be put aside and attend to the needs of the people.Farms are closing down,foreclosure is still happening at an alarming rate,Business is stagnant, job creation is the CRY of the people. I see that five of the fourteen are pro drilling, bet you that the other nine opposed either live in some city limits where no drilling will occur anyway or are democrats with little or no knowledge of the process.The “Truth” Mr. Roberts is that study, after, study has come back that drilling is safe. The time and money being wasted on further studies are putting people in food lines and homeless shelters and there is  still little or no work, especially in construction fields. ACTION must be taken, NOW, not three years from now.  I still do not think you quite understood that sentence i wrote on my last blog, I’ll be glad to clarify .” Progressive thinking”, in light of your personal views, you understand the needs of the people you serve and vote in favor of drilling , knowing the economic value of that vote.’ Proper oversight”, now that the ” Commission” has for seen the future,  there will be a influx of businesses, people, equipment,etc.The “Commission”  will then have to actually vote to hire additional  people( something that’s been foreign the last 5 years) to ensure drilling is being safely done, maybe add more, police, fire , EMS, the list goes on. That is the simple answer on how to pull your state, this countries, head out of its ass. Gabish? (that’s Italian for understand).

  • Anonymous

    The correct word is CAPISCI?…DO YOU UNDERSTAND? From the verb capire.  Like most information in your posts , accuracy is not your strong suit.

  • Anonymous

     Exdent, you spent to much time smoking pot and protesting in college, that”s the Brooklyn version bro., with a back hand attached, Gabish, Now.