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Hardy seeks to create institute

Joe Hardy, founder of the 84 Lumber LBM chain, is hoping to create a think tank that will explore Marcellus Shale, a largely untapped natural gas reserve found throughout much of the northern Appalachian Basin, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Nearly 300 people from the natural gas industry, state and local government and community leaders attended a two-day event last week at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a Farmington, Pa., hotel and resort owned by Hardy, to discuss the possibilities of Marcellus Shale as an energy source.

Hardy intends the Marcellus Shale Conference and Golf Tournament to be an annual event, a company spokesman told the newspaper. In addition, Hardy would like to create a Nemacolin Institute to provide state-of-the-art research and dialogue about Marcellus Shale and the role it plays in energy production. No one has been hired to run the organization, which would collaborate with others involved in shale gas exploration, the article said.

Hardy is the founder and CEO of 84 Lumber, the industry's largest independent chain of lumberyards in the nation. Based in Eighty Four, Pa., the company ranked fifth on the HCN Top 350 Pro Dealer Scoreboard, with $1.35 billion in sales for 2009.

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