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Hardy wants to create Nemacolin Institute

Joe Hardy, founder of the 84 Lumber Co. homebuilding chain and posh Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, has jumped on the Marcellus shale bandwagon.

Nearly 300 people from the natural gas industry, state and local government and community leaders attended a two-day event this week that Hardy intends to be an annual event — the Marcellus Shale Conference and Golf Tournament, said Douglas Benns, a spokesman for Hardy.

Hardy wants to create the Nemacolin Institute, a think tank, to provide state-of-the-art research and dialogue about Marcellus shale and the role it plays in energy production, Benns said. No one has been hired to run the institute, but eventually it will have a small staff that would work in collaboration with others involved in the shale gas exploration. Hardy has yet to set a budget for it, Benns said.

The institute would bring together industry executives, policy makers and environmentalists to review the pros and cons of gas drilling and production in the state, in a manner that does not harm the environment, Benns said.

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