A coalition of environmental groups, philanthropic foundations and energy companies has come together to create a new organization aimed at making Marcellus Shale drilling companies more accountable.
The new Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) will be headquartered in Pittsburgh and employ independent auditors to evaluate and certify companies.
Here are the group’s founding members*:
- Clean Air Task Force
- CONSOL Energy
- Environmental Defense Fund
- EQT Corporation
- Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP)
- Heinz Endowments
- Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)
- Pennsylvania Environmental Council
- William Penn Foundation
The groups spent two years working together to develop a set of 15 performance standards relating to air and water quality as well as and climate protection.
Although the organization’s members include major multinational energy companies, none of the top three gas drillers in the state (Chesapeake, Range Resources, and Talisman) were part of the effort.
Interim executive director Andrew Place says he’s hopeful they’ll join in and seek certification.
“The next effort is to bring many other producers to the table, and we’ve already had conversations that are encouraging, that others will find this of value.”
CSSD will begin the certification process later this year.
*A note of disclosure: StateImpact Pennsylvania receives funding from the Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation