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Western Md. coalition seeks looser gas drilling regulations

GRANTSVILLE, Md. — A coalition of western Maryland landowners, businesses and labor groups says the state’s proposed rules for natural gas drilling go too far.

The Energy and Property Rights Coalition asked the administration of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday to put on hold the regulations proposed by his predecessor, Democrat Martin O’Malley, shortly before O’Malley left office last month.

O’Malley said in November that the proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing represent “what many believe to be the gold standard” for environmentally sound drilling. They include a requirement that permit applicants produce a five-year, comprehensive plan for all their anticipated wells.

The coalition says the rules would quash any potential for shale gas drilling in Garrett and Allegany counties.

The Hogan administration has until Feb. 23 to withdraw the proposed rules.

In related news, In some Maryland railroad towns, crude oil is an open secret.

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