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Would Drilling Hurt Md. Tourism? Report Unclear

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Natural gas, gas drilling

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FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — Critics of hydraulic fracturing say a state-funded study of the potential economic impact of shale gas drilling in far western Maryland fails to address what they consider the key issue of tourism.

Three members of a state panel charged with recommending safe drilling practices told the study’s author at a meeting Monday in Frostburg the report is incomplete without assessing how gas drilling could affect tourism around Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, the county where most of the drilling would occur.

Study author Daraius Irani of Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute says there’s a dearth of good data about the impact of hydraulic fracturing in tourist areas.

Panel member Paul Roberts says he will ask Gov. Martin O’Malley to find money for a closer look at the topic.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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