MANSFIELD - North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue and members of her administration met with commissioners from Bradford and Tioga counties at Mansfield University Monday to talk "gas."
Exploration for natural gas is in the very early stages in North Carolina, and the governor and her administration wanted to meet with the commissioners to gauge the impact natural gas drilling has had on area municipalities and communities and get suggestions on oversight of the industry.
The meeting, which also involved representatives of Northern Tier economic development organizations and representatives of Shell and Chesapeake Energy, came at the end of a day-long visit during which Perdue and her group visited several sites to see drilling and pipeline work first-hand.
Former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger presented a message at Duke University in North Carolina and according to Tioga County Commissioner Erick Coolidge "it stirred the discussion."
"Having a governor from another state come here and ask about our experience with gas was wonderful," he said.
Coolidge said the governor and her delegation were curious about the water and how it is affected and handled and how the community adjusts, as well as how the industry has affected the businesses or economy.
"It is evident by the low unemployment numbers here and in Bradford County that it is a good thing," he added.
Coolidge said he told Perdue it was important to "engage the industry" as well as the public in discussion. He also suggested the localities where drilling is happening have their road bonding and agreements in place before the trucks arrive, not after.
"The takeaway was to have a lot more advance preparation in place than we had," he said.