State Rep. Mike Sturla

Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee

State Rep. Eugene DePasquale


Hearing Co-Chairman  



Democratic Policy Committee examines issues

related to the Marcellus Shale industry


YORK, April 28 – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing at the Harrisburg Area Community College's York Campus today to explore issues related to the growing Marcellus Shale industry in the Commonwealth, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.


State Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York, who requested the hearing, served as co-chairman.


“Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale formation has great potential to stimulate our nation's natural gas industry and to invigorate our state's economic recovery," Sturla said. "However, along with the positive impacts on the Commonwealth there are also risks to our environment, infrastructure, drinking water and local communities' resources. I applaud Representative DePasquale for his foresight in requesting this hearing in York to move the dialogue on this critical issue forward."


“It’s vital that we have a balanced approach to Marcellus Shale drilling,” DePasquale said. “I believe a severance tax is necessary to ensure that we have enough inspectors to keep our drinking water clean, to aid the local communities whose infrastructure is impacted by drilling and finally, to make sure Pennsylvania can maintain these items going forward. We must protect our water and land – in addition to the job creation that can come from this.”


Those testifying at the hearing included  John Quigley, former secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Elam Herr, assistant executive director, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors;  Sharon Ward, director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center; Kevin West, managing director of external affairs, EQT Corp.;  David Masur, executive director, PennEnvironment; Tom Au, conservation chairman, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter; and Nowell Smith, member, SEIU Local 668.


For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit