Washington, D.C. – Following is a statement by American Gas Association (AGA) President and CEO Dave McCurdy on the release of the final 2011 report of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, Shale Gas Subcommittee November 18, 2011:
“We commend the subcommittee for providing recommendations that embrace sustainable environmental practices, energy security and economic opportunity as key elements for ensuring continued development of our nation’s abundant shale gas resources. The Department of Energy has made a valuable contribution to the public discourse by engaging policy leaders dedicated to making sure our natural gas resources are produced responsibly, enabling our customers and our economy to benefit for decades to come.
The subcommittee’s recommendations reflect principles supported by AGA and our member companies for responsible and sustainable development of our nation’s natural gas resources. We agree that a transparent and respectful dialogue and effective state regulations are critical in keeping the public’s trust in our industry’s continued access to the vast supply of domestic natural gas. Our industry is committed to the continuous improvement of safety and best practices while enhancing the quality of life for the communities we serve.
AGA recognizes that the subcommittee’s recommendation to enhance state efforts to regulate natural gas resource development by providing funding for STRONGER and the Ground Water Protection Council is particularly timely and important. We also agree with the subcommittee’s recommendation that companies quickly and visibly commit to best practices and establish regional centers for operational excellence.
AGA members are committed to maximizing the greenhouse gas reduction benefits from using clean natural gas in our energy economy, and we applaud the production community’s efforts to improve air quality by applying green well completion technology where feasible. However, AGA cautions that the subcommittee’s call to action for federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, should defer to the scope of those agencies’ current rulemakings and ongoing effort to complement important work already being done by the states, the industry and other stakeholders.”