Keep checking this page for ways that you can participate in the decisions being made about industrial shale gas development in western Maryland.

Update Jan 10, 2012

TAKE ACTION by writing a letter of support for Fair Leasing Legislation.

Send your personal e-mails to

Delegate Beitzel   wendell.beitzel@house.state.md.us

Senator Edwards   george.edwards@senate.state.md.us

A sample letter might read:I support, and hope you will support, proposals for energy leasing reforms recommended by CitizenShale and others.  These reforms would protect property rights, land values, and the health and welfare of our state.  The changes I would like to see would require leasing agents and all other industry representatives engaged in energy leasing to:

 • Be registered and licensed with the Maryland Secretary of State to operate, just as all companies chartered within the state are required;

• Adhere to certain uniform, “plain” language requirements in fiduciary aspects of leases, including but not limited to provisions for renewals or extensions, to improve transparency and ease of understanding;

• Inform lessors of their right to have an attorney review the lease prior to signing;

• Follow a uniform filing format specific to the leasing of minerals (gas, oil, and coal) and for the leasing of right-of-way for ancillary activities such as pipeline development;

• File all actual leases, lease extensions, or other alterations to leases within a reasonable, prescribed time-frame;

• Make notification to the lessor of reassignment or sale of leases or rights-of-way, with contact information for the superseding lessee clearly provided;

• Include in all mineral leases or mineral sales a disclaimer regarding risks associated with extraction or production of minerals, gas, oil, coal, or wind power, similar to disclaimers that investors are entitled by law to see before buying stock in a  public corporation engaged in such activities; and

• Provide for disclosure by the lessee of any previous criminal convictions associated with leasing activities within the United States, as well as disclosure related to any civil litigation involving the lessee.

Take Action on state decision-making by reading the various postings available on the Maryland Department of the Environment website.  MDE is a leader on the Governor’s Commission and has provided information about shale gas development and the Department’s regulations, as well as posted the minutes of the Governor’s Commission meetings taking place once a month, usually in western Maryland.

How to get there:  The main MDE web page is www.mde.state.md.us.  On that page, in the center, is a box for the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative, the Governor’s order which established the commission to research and recommend action for Maryland to take prior to industrial natural gas development..  Clicking on that central box takes you to the Marcellus Shale page.  On the left side, you will see title for “Advisory Commission,” “Resources,” etc. Each of these has information.

Take Action by writing a response to the MDE.

Click on http://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/Land/mining/marcellus/Pages/Commission.aspx

and then scroll to the link that says  ”Public Opportunity for Comment.”  This will open an e-mail message and you may submit comments and attach documents via email.

Take Action by attending a public meeting:

Governor’s Commission:  TBD- Regular meetings will be scheduled in 2012.  Next Meeting is January 27 at 1pm, Annapolis location TBA

Garrett County Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Advisory Committee: Next regular meeting Tuesday January 24, 2012, 4:30-6:30, Garrett County Health Dept, Memorial Drive, Oakland, MD.  Sub-committees will meet before that.  See below.

The following Schedule available at http://marcellusshale.garrettcounty.org/calendar-of-events

Water & Other Environmental Effects Subcommittee of the Garrett Co. Marcellus Advisory Committee will meet:

Thursday, January 12, 2012, 4:00 pm
Garrett College CAOS Building (Adventure Sports Training Center)
From Rt 219 in McHenry, turn onto Mosser Road. Bear right at the “Y” to remain on Mosser.  Just past the new CARC building, make a left at the sign for the CAOS Adventure Sports program building, at the top of the hill on the left.

Regulations Subcommittee of the Garrett Co. Marcellus Advisory Committee will meet:

Thursday, January 12, 2012, 1:00 pm
Garrett County Extension Office Meeting Room, 1916 Maryland Hwy, Suite A, Mt. Lake Park.  (Across from Fitzwater Furniture)

Combined meeting of Infrastructure and Socioeconomic Subcommittees of the Garrett Co. Marcellus Advisory Committee will meet:

Wednesday, January 18, 2:00 pm
Garrett Co. Health Department conference room, Memorial Drive, Oakland

CitizenShale event: TBD -Educational events will follow the schedule of topics to be reviewed by the Maryland State Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission during 2012.