Gas drilling companies work on community relations

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Some gas drilling companies that spent years fighting, threatening and suing reluctant communities took a new tack in 2012: collaboration.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/VGYgG2 ) reports Friday that drillers in Pennsylvania have hired local people to act as liaisons and ramped up communication efforts.

Some municipal officials are now giving drillers credit for improving communication and responding quickly when problems arise.

For example, XTO Energy --an Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary --set up a community advisory board in Butler County. That's about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.

The paper reports that kind of effort was mostly missing in the early years of shale-gas development in Pennsylvania.

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