Marcellus Shale is the second-largest natural gas field in the world, Lawrence said.
Thursday's meeting is the sixth in a series of town hall-style meetings about Marcellus Shale around the state, and more are scheduled, Lawrence said. Most have drawn between 60 and 75 people, she said.
"For the most part, people are receptive and surprised by the information that they hear," Lawrence said of the meetings.
For D.C. Wingate and his wife Louise, the meeting was a chance to catch up on the happenings of the natural gas industry. D.C. Wingate, a Clendenin resident, worked for Columbia Gas for 45 years before his retirement in 1995.
"I just hope it does for the state what they're predicting it will," Louise Wingate said.
"I think it will," D.C. Wingate said. "It's a big, big project."
Both of the Wingates said they're not concerned that Marcellus Shale development may cause problems to the environment.
"So far it seems to be OK," D.C. Wingate said. "The industry seems to be very careful in how they do things."
Charleston residents Beverley<co > and John Hall said they support the development as well.
"We believe that there are a lot of difficult issues but we also believe that we can't ignore the opportunity," Beverley Hall said. "You can't just say no to things because you don't want things to change."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.