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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Maryland update

Two updates on my work in Maryland, for those of you who are keeping score.

First, here is an article that appeared in Maryland's Daily Record on July 21. The context provided by the Daily Record is accurate - and quite a bit clearer than some have suggested.

Second, yesterday, I had the privilege of making a presentation to Maryland's Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission on comprehensive development planning at their 19th public meeting. That statistic alone is impressive and speaks volumes about the commitment of Governor O'Malley, the state departments of Environment and Natural Resources, and the hard-working commissioners to thorough, transparent work. 

Another impressive fact was the strong attendance by citizens - attending the meeting on a weekday afternoon in the middle of summer.  

I'm not sure if anyone from Food and Water Watch was present in the audience.  If they were, they kept it to themselves.  If no one from the group was there, or if they were represented and stayed anonymous during the meeting's public comment/Q&A period, that says a lot, in my view.
My presentation to the Commission was followed by an extended round of tough, fair, knowledgeable, and intense questioning by Commission members.  Later, I had the opportunity to field more incisive questions from the obviously well-informed audience. 

I think that the Commission process and the public's participation in it augurs well for Maryland as it wrestles transparently with the complexities of potential shale gas development in the Old Line State.

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