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Pennsylvania Natural Gas Summit explores the impacts of Marcellus Shale

Marcellus Shale, the largest unconventional natural gas reserve in the world, is widely viewed as the bridge fuel between fossil fuels and new energy alternatives. Recent interest in Marcellus Shale formation in the Commonwealth has dramatically increased natural gas extraction, and created expectations of positive economic growth among Pennsylvanians. This increased development raises a number of important legal and policy issues, including environmental, economic and land use concerns.

Briefing citizens, policymakers, and the academic community on litigation and recent case law will be Penn State Law faculty member Ross Pifer. He will address the 2009 Pennsylvania Natural Gas Summit in State College next week.

“Although Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the oil industry, Pennsylvania oil and gas law remains largely undeveloped in many aspects. Interest in, and development of, the Marcellus Shale formation has increased the number of issues that are being presented to our federal and state judiciary. As a result, many issues of first impression for Pennsylvania have been decided within the past year or are presently under consideration,” explained Pifer.

The 2009 Pennsylvania Natural Gas Summit, which will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College on November 16-18, will address the challenges, opportunities, and related actions associated with water use and disposal, regional infrastructure development, issues for local governments, identification of local economic opportunities, and legal issues related to natural gas leasing and development so that stakeholders can make informed, educated decisions that best suit the needs of the region. These timely discussions can also help communities improve local decision making, empower them to guide their own decisions, and improve the social and economic well-being of their citizens.

Speakers include Pennsylvania DEP Secretary John Hanger; U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy, co-chair of the newly formed Congressional Natural Gas Caucus; Pennsylvania State Senator Eugene Yaw; Robert Yowell, DEP Northcentral regional director; Matt Royer, Chesapeake Bay Foundation attorney; Terry Engelder, Penn State professor of geosciences, and Brian Dempsey, Penn State professor of environmental engineering.

More information can be found on the Summit's website.

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