Representatives of the natural gas industry, environmental organizations and state government are among those that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday named to the state's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.
Over the next three years the commission will study the effects of Marcellus gas drilling in the state's western panhandle, make recommendations on a possible state-level severance tax and report on potential impacts of drilling on groundwater (see Shale Daily, June 7).
The commission will be chaired by David Vanko, a geologist and dean of The Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics at Towson University. Other members named by O'Malley include state Sen. George Edwards, a Republican whose district includes Garrett County, one of only two counties in the state overlaying the Marcellus; and Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery), who earlier this year sought to freeze the permitting of Marcellus drilling until 2013 to give state agencies time to review the results of various studies of Marcellus development and hydraulic fracturing (see Shale Daily, March 25).
Also named to the panel are Garrett County Commissioner James Raley, Allegany County Commissioner William Valentine, Oakland Mayor Peggy Jamison, Garrett County Farm Bureau President Shawn Bender, Maryland Office of the Nature Conservancy Director of Conservation Programs Steven M. Bunker, Savage River Watershed Association's John Fritts, Chevron Government Affairs senior adviser Jeffrey Kupfer, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Dominick E. Murray, Deep Creek Cellars winery co-owner Paul Roberts, Mid-Atlantic Council of Trout Unlimited Chairman Nick Weber and Ballard Spahr partner Harry Weiss.
The commission is scheduled to hold its first meeting Aug. 4 at Rocky Gap State Park in Allegany County.