Mars Area School Board rejects drilling proposal

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MARS, Pa. - The Mars Area School Board unanimously rejected a proposal to conduct horizontal drilling for oil and gas underneath district property.

Rex Energy had proposed to drill underneath school district property along Route 228. Officials said the agreement would have paid the district just over $1 million for a five-year lease.

Many parents were opposed to the lease for safety reasons, citing the gas well explosion in Greene County that killed one worker in February.

The Rex Energy pact promised the district about $4,000 an acre for drilling rights. The company would have drilled from a site about 4,000 feet off district property.

Rex Energy spokesman Mike Endler released the following reactionary statement: “While disappointed, we respect the school board's decision. We will maintain open communication with the district, and other community stakeholders, as Rex Energy moves forward with safe, tightly regulated development plans for this project.”

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.

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