August 11, 2011
A diverse group of advisors to Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently released a series of consensus-based recommendations calling for increased measurement, public disclosure and a commitment to continuous improvement in the development and environmental management of shale gas. The report was prepared by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Shale Gas Production Subcommittee. The Subcommittee, which was chaired by John Deutch, an MIT professor, was convened by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at the direction of President Barack Obama who observed that “recent innovations have given us the opportunity to tap large reserves—perhaps a century’s worth” of shale gas. The subcommittee was asked to produce a report on the immediate steps that can be taken to improve the safety and environmental performance of shale gas development. The report reflects three months of deliberations among a diverse group of industry experts, environmental advocates, academics and former state regulators.
The report includes recommendations in four key areas:
- Making information about shale gas production operations more accessible to the public;
- Immediate and longer-term actions to reduce environmental and safety risks of shale gas operations, with a particular focus on protecting air and water quality;
- Creation of a Shale Gas Industry Operation organization committed to continuous improvement of best operating practices; and
- Research and development (R&D) to improve safety and environmental performance.
A full copy of the report is available at http://www.shalegas.energy.gov/index.html.