As expected, the Department of Energy’s fracking report is dominating today’s drilling news. Here’s some Pennsylvania-based reaction to the document.
Former DCNR Secretary John Quigley, who works as a consultant for PennFuture, calls it a “must-read.”
Air quality, methane emissions, and water quality protection receive important attention.
So, too, do the critically important areas of managing short-term andcumulative impacts of gas production and transport on communities, land use, wildlife, and ecologies. SGS calls for the preservation of unique/sensitive areas by declaring them off-limits to drilling and support infrastructure. The subcommittee also calls for science-based analysis of important landscapes, habitats and corridors to improve planning, prevention, mitigation and reclamation of surface impacts.
Of central importance, in my view, is that SGS stresses the importance of adopting a process of continuous improvement in all aspects of shale gas production – one that relies on best practices and is tied to measurement and disclosure. Best management practices around shale gas production are in a state of evolution. What is understood as best practice today may not be six months from now, as new information is developed.
Here’s the response from the Marcellus Shale Coalition, who represents the drilling industry in Pennsylvania:
“Taken together, these fact-based recommendations represent yet another key step toward ensuring that common sense policies must be in place to ensure that American natural gas development continues to be balanced with the proper environmental safeguards. On the heels of the Governor Corbett commission’s recommendations, this panel’s findings advance solutions-oriented policies. We look forward to providing the panel with our industry’s input as this process continues to move forward.”