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Ohio Utica Shale

Pennsylvania DCNR chief resigns at governor's request

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Pensylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secretary resigned at the governor's request Thursday, but the reason was not immediately disclosed.

Gov. Tom Corbett issued a news release saying he had just "asked for and received" the resignation of Secretary Richard J. Allan earlier in the morning. Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley declined to discuss the reasons for the change, calling it a personnel matter.

Allan, 60, has led the department since shortly after the first-term Republican governor took office in early 2011. He did not respond to messages at his home in Camp Hill, and a message was left at the department's press office.

Allan has had a low profile in the Corbett administration, which he joined after a career in the scrap metal industry.

The department manages the state parks and forests, and has recently faced public opposition over potential drilling for natural gas in 100,000-acre Loyalsock State Forest. Some 500 people attended a public hearing on the issue last week, with opponents arguing the land was a public trust and voicing particular concern for drilling near Rock Run, a pristine stream.

Asked about the gas controversy, Harley said Allan's departure "has nothing to do with any public policy. It was strictly a personnel issue."

Environmental groups, however, said they hoped the change might translate into a shift in Corbett's approach to drilling.

"I do think that the issue of gas development in the Loyalsock State Forest has become a defining issue for Richard Allan and Gov. Corbett when it comes to their conservation legacy," said PennEnvironment's executive director, David Masur.

Jeff Schmidt with the Pennsylvania chapter of the Sierra Club said the forced resignation came only days after he and others wrote the governor to alter his Loyalsock approach.

Allan graduated from Nanticoke Area High School and Wilkes University.

The acting secretary, effective immediately, is Ellen Ferretti, who had been the deputy secretary for parks and forestry.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.