New Marcellus forum suggested

Elk County Commissioners discussed the possibility of a new kind of public issue forum regarding Marcellus Shale.Mike Kamandulis, a member of Elk County C.A.R.E.S. [Citizens Advocating Responsible Environmental Stewardship], reviewed his experiences attending A forum entitled "The Marcellus Shale - What Does It Mean For Us," hosted Saturday, April 14, at the Central Pa. Institute of Science and Technology in Pleasant Gap, Centre County."People in this seminar discussed four aspects of the Marcellus, one being the pursuit of economic opportunities for the people of our state," Kamandulis said. "Other approaches dealt with health and safety, another dealt with how to preserve our communities and the fourth was the approach to energy security. "Prior to this meeting, Richard Alley, a famous geoscientist who has been studying climate change, gave about a one-hour powerpoint presentation examining the issue of climate change and put the issue of Marcellus Shale being a possible fuel in that context."Kamandulis said he thought the program was thorough and urged commissioners to help organize a similar forum in Elk County."It was well-organized and I came away from that day realizing that if people in the community were to get together in a manner like that with representatives from the gas industry, it would be a good thing," Kamandulis said. "We also had a few professors from Penn State who are in the department of Marcellus outreach-- at the end of the day when the various groups came up with their conclusions with the four aspects, they were presented, summarized and compiled. "That information will be made available to the residents of Centre County-- I thought that if we could do that in Elk County to get the word out and help the people understand everything much more thoroughly, it would be a very great educational outreach. It was very civil without anger and arguments throughout the day."Elk County Commissioner June H. Sorg said she would share the information with the county's gas task force in an effort to organize a forum.Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, April 18, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.Next meetingElk County Board of CommissionersWhen: Tuesday, May 1Where: Courthouse Annex, Conference Room No. 2Time: 10 a.m.