While the natural gas industry engages in a rocky public perception war, EDF continues to invite industry collaboration on development of more transparent, environmentally responsible drilling methods necessary to rebuild public trust.
In that regard, I appeared on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show this month to help emphasize the message that environmentalists and industry are not opposing forces on shale gas development.
My main points included:
- From our perspective, there are risks associated with any natural energy resource. However, at Environmental Defense Fund we are realists and we realize that natural gas is part of a diverse energy portfolio. What we are concerned about is that regulations are not in place to effectively protect the public.
- There are certain criteria that need to be addressed, namely: well construction and design, air emissions associated with oil and gas drilling, and what to do with the produced water once it is extracted.
- We (EDF) have been working on those issues. The problem is that we need more industry support. We need industry to recognize that the public has legitimate, valid concerns and that if we work together, we can help solve some of these problems. For instance, air emissions can be reduced by capturing vapors from the storage tanks that have been a problem in the Barnett Shale area.
More evidence of our position and collaborative nature can be found in a recent National Geographic article, which highlights a joint industry-environmentalist model approach toward solving issues associated with shale gas drilling. Read More