Greenwire: States Balance Drilling Regulation With Boosterism
How do states balance regulating the natural gas drilling industry, while simultaneously promoting its economic benefits? It’s a tricky dance that Greenwire took a look at recently.
State oil and gas agencies across the country are straining to prevent a flood of new drilling from harming human health and the environment.
But that’s not really their job. Or at least not all of it.
Their job is also to promote drilling. And sometimes the law makes that their top priority.
Wyoming regulators are expected to “serve” the industry. Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Oil and Gas says its goal is to “facilitate” development. And nearly every other oil and gas agency has a mandate or mission statement establishing increased development as a goal.
“We’re there to regulate and promote, if you will,” Wyoming Oil and Gas Supervisor Tom Doll explained. “Protecting the environment — that’s part of the task.”
The report is part of an ongoing series Greenwire is producing on how states are responding to the shale gas boom.