Troubling reports of potential or real environmental problems such as groundwater pollution were coming out of some neighboring states where fracking was already happening. So, too, were stories of an economic revival and desperately-desired job creation. Therefore, in July 2011 the governor issued an executive order charging MDE and DNR to examine all aspects of unconventional natural gas development and to determine whether Maryland could allow it without unacceptable risks to the environment, natural resources and the public. To assist, help oversee and provide a mechanism for public participation in the process, the executive order created the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission. The commissioners who were appointed came from a variety of backgrounds and expressed a wide diversity of opinions. Since August 2011, the commission has met in public session 34 times, usually in Western Maryland.