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Monday, April 11, 2011

Shale commission working groups will meet in public - News - Citizens Voice

HARRISBURG - A new exercise in public transparency is being tried out next week by the governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.

Four working groups created to carry out the commission's work will meet in public on successive days to hear presentations and consider shale-related issues under their jurisdiction.

It's a departure from standard practice in Harrisburg, where members of special commissions will meet formally in public and then break up into smaller groups to carry out negotiations in private.

"The lieutenant governor is pretty clear he wants this to be as open as possible," said Chad Saylor, spokesman for Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, the commission chairman, on Friday.

The 30-member commission is charged with giving Gov. Tom Corbett a comprehensive set of recommendations on a wide range of policies dealing with development of the Marcellus Shale gas reserves by summer.

The groups were set up at the commission's first meeting March 25. The Infrastructure Work Group led by Transportation Secretary-designate Barry Schoch meets Monday.

The Public Health, Safety and Environmental Protection Work Group chaired by Secretary of Environmental Protection-designate Mike Krancer meets Tuesday.

The Local Impact and Emergency Response Work Group led by PEMA director Glenn Cannon meets Wednesday.

The Economic and Workforce Development Group led by Secretary of Community and Economic Development-designate Alan Walker meets Thursday.

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Shale commission working groups will meet in public - News - Citizens Voice