Maryland "Fracking" Commission Looks At Risks Of Drilling In Garrett County

11:09 PM, Jan 7, 2013   |    comments
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA) -- The battle over "fracking" continues in Maryland.

The commission looking into the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas has some recommendations to govern the work in Maryland. But it has another year of work, and commission members have very different ideas about whether fracking can be done safely.

The recommendations include a "landman registry," so that anyone buying leases for drilling on people's land in Maryland has to be registered with the state.

The commission is also endorsing a tax on extracted gas, and compensation for anyone whose land is damaged.

The Maryland Petroleum Council estimates there is somewhere between $2.7 billion and $5.8 billion dollars worth of gas in the deep Marcellus Shale in Garrett County if far Western Maryland.

James Raley, a Garrett County commissioner and member of the fracking commission, says young people in Western Maryland are desperate for jobs.

But Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery), who is also on the fracking commission, says she'll introduce a bill for a complete moratorium until there are better studies of the risks.

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