Advisory Panel Seeks Shale Gas Regulation | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 47 | p. 24 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 21, 2011

Advisory Panel Seeks Shale Gas Regulation

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: shale gas, water pollution, energy, EPA

A Department of Energy advisory panel is recommending that EPA take aggressive regulatory action to control air and water pollution from shale gas production. A draft report issued on Nov. 10 by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Subcommittee on Shale Gas Production acknowledges the important role natural gas could play in reducing both carbon emissions and reliance on foreign sources of energy. But it says that if action is not taken to reduce the environmental impact of the expansion of shale gas production that is expected across the country—perhaps adding as many as 100,000 wells over the next several decades—there is a risk of significant air and water pollution and of a loss of public confidence, which could delay or even halt the activity. Among other things, the report calls for the disclosure of the chemical content of drilling fluids and the elimination of diesel fuel in those fluids. Shale gas now accounts for about 30% of total U.S. natural gas production, says John M. Deutch, subcommittee chairman and chemistry professor at MIT. “But to ensure the full benefits to the American people, environmental issues need to be addressed now,” he says.

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