Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

March 12, 2013

He listens to the people who are directly affected by it

I have been involved in this Marcellus Shale issue in Garrett County for the last five years.

I did mineral searches for Western Land Services in 2008.

They were one of the many energy related companies that was in Garrett County at that time signing people to mineral rights leases and thousands of acres went under lease.

It was then that I recognized the need for a law to clear up ownership of minerals. Thereafter I was very involved in the process that led to the passage of the Dormant Mineral Interests Act that became a law in October of 2010.

Since that time I have, on an almost daily basis, been involved in mineral searches and mineral related issues.

I have talked to many, many people on both sides. I have talked with those for natural gas development and those against natural gas development.

I have tried to see both sides. In addition I have read most of the newspaper articles, several studies, and various other articles and publications on natural gas drilling.

After careful consideration of everything I have heard and read, the people I most trust are the residents of Garrett County and in particular, the farmers of Garrett County who support natural gas development.

Why? First, they would be the people most directly affected. Their very existence depends on good, clean water.

I am very impressed with the farmers I have talked to. They are very knowledgeable and well-read and know of the possible problems with natural gas drilling. They are concerned, intelligent people totally dependent on quality water.

They know the problems associated with drilling yet they support natural gas development. If they don’t have a problem, why should I?

Jim Braskey

Title abstractor and paralegal

Frostburg

 

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