Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission: An Overview

The Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission was formed in August 2011 by a group of eight civic, environmental and good government groups. The Commission was tasked with assessing the impacts, both positive and negative, of drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale and identifying the steps that need to be taken to ensure that drilling is done in a responsible manner.

The commission found that Pennsylvanians believe gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale has moved too quickly and that public officials need to do a better job protecting their communities and the environment.

The Commission heard from 116 testifiers at hearings held in August and September 2011 in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Towanda and Williamsport. More than 400 people from 48 counties attended the hearings, while another 110 concerned citizens submitted comments online.

In October 2011, the Commission produced a lengthy report documenting citizens' opinions and concerns and making recommendations.

Final Report and Recommendations

Read the Commission's Final Report

Read the Commission's Recommendations

Read a Press Release on the Commission's Report

Sponsoring Organizations

The sponsors included the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Clean Water Action, Keystone Progress, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Penn Environment, the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the CLEAR Coalition.

Commissioners

Co-chairs:

  • Former State Representative Carole Rubley
  • Former State Representative Dan Surra

Members:

  • Anna Alford, Crystal Lake Ski Center
  • Thomas Au, Pennsylvania Chapter of Sierra Club
  • Dencil Backus, California University, Washington County resident
  • Duke Barrett, Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition of Luzerne County 
  • Lynda K. Farrell, Executive Director of Pipeline Safety Coalition
  • Barbara Jarmoska, Responsible Drilling Alliance
  • Rebecca McNichol, CLEAR Coalition
  • Gabe Morgan, SEIU Local 32 BJ, Pittsburgh
  • Roy Newsome Jr., AICP
  • Rev. Ricky Phillips, Mazeppa Lutheran Church/Dry Valley Lutheran Church, Buffalo Valley
  • Peter Rathmell, Western Clinton County Sportsmen’s Association
  • James A. Schmid, Biogeographer
  • John Stolz, Duquesne University
  • Mary Beth Sweeney, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
  • Ritchie Tabachnick, Equipment & Controls Africa
  • John Anthony Trallo, Residents United for Pennsylvania/Sullivan County Chapter
  • Roberta Winters, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania

Click here to read the Commissioners' bios

Hearings

Five public hearings were held in August and September 2011 to collect input from citizens across Pennsylvania. Hearings were held at the following locations:

Southwestern Pennsylvania

South Fayette Middle School
McDonald, PA

Southeastern Pennsylvania

The Free Library of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

Northeastern Pennsylvania

Lycoming College, Academic Center on Mulberry Street
Williamsport, PA

Wysox Volunteer Fire Company 
Wysox, PA

Central Pennsylvania

Harrisburg Area Community College
Harrisburg, PA