This map from the USGS shows the extent of the Marcellus Shale formation that oil and natural gas companies are exploring for drilling.
The Marcellus shale natural gas boom has brought damage to West Virginia country roads along with millions of dollars of investments.
State lawmakers heard both sides of this part of the Marcellus debate Friday, during a hearing in the House of Delegates chamber.
Highway officials say some rural roads have been crushed in the rush to tap this vast natural gas reserve. Drillers must truck in heavy equipment and pipes. The hydraulic fracturing process requires a constant supply of sand, water and chemical slush.
The Department of Transportation has developed a bonding program in response to the strain on roads. But lawmakers also learned that Chesapeake Energy and other companies have take steps on their own to improve road conditions and safety.
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