Drilling group offers paid trip to energy hearing

June 10, 2011 - 3:00 PM

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A natural gas group is offering an expenses-paid trip to pro-drilling landowners to get them to attend U.S. Energy Department meeting on the controversial practice known as fracking.

The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports that a consultant for Energy In Depth emailed drilling supporters in Pennsylvania and New York offering transportation, meals and lodging.

The public meeting is being held Monday night at Washington and Jefferson College outside Pittsburgh.

The Energy Department says a panel will hear testimony from citizens "interested in the safety and environmental performance of hydraulic fracturing."

Consultant Thomas Shepstone tells the newspaper that the incentives are "highly appropriate" given the travel time to western Pennsylvania. He says about 20 people have accepted the trip as of Friday morning.

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Information from: The Times-Tribune, http://thetimes-tribune.com/