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Ohio Utica Shale

Pennsylvania legal bill tops $550,000 in Marcellus law dispute

By Bob Downing Published: February 16, 2013

With a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling still pending regarding the legality of the Marcellus shale gas drilling law passed last year, billing documents show that the case already has cost the commonwealth more than $550,000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazete reports.


Those costs stem from hiring an outside legal firm, Philadelphia-based Conrad O'Brien, to represent the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Public Utility Commission in the lawsuit brought by a group of mostly western Pennsylvania towns.


The two agencies have split the cost of those attorney fees, which already have surpassed the $150,000 that the PUC had allocated for legal services out of its $1 million share of last year's shale impact fees.


The state's costs dwarf those reported by the municipalities involved, which have not been charged by the attorneys representing them in the appellate courtrooms.

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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.