MD Marcellus Commission Survey: With Careful Planning Drilling OK

In June 2011, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an Executive Order creating the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative, his way of appearing to address the issue of shale drilling in the state without really addressing it. Since that time the state has been more or less mired in “discussions” about whether, and how, to proceed with Marcellus Shale drilling. There’s only two counties in far western MD that even have recoverable Marcellus Shale gas, but Maryland is so far left on the political spectrum, lawmakers address each other as “comrade” in the hallways in Annapolis. It’s no surprise they’re not anywhere close to allowing drilling.

As part of the Executive Order the Initiative established an Advisory Commission, made up of a number of good people and a few rotten anti-drilling apples. Mostly good, deliberative, smart people sit on the Commission. One of the documents commissioners helped create last summer was a draft “best practices in shale drilling” report (for a copy, see: Maryland Releases Draft “Best Practices” in Shale Drilling Report). Of the 15 people on the Commission, 10 of them filled out a survey last fall about the draft best practices document in an effort to pinpoint areas of disagreement so the commissioners could discuss those issues at scheduled meetings. The survey responses from the 10 Commissioners (full copy of the survey embedded below) show a deliberative, careful, considered approach to shale drilling in the state–which we applaud. Too bad no one in Annapolis is paying attention…

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