States Pulling Together For Natural Gas Delicate Balance

Potter County Today

mikesmithA multi-state agency is stepping up its role in pushing for production of shale gas in an environmentally sound and economically profitable manner. Attending to that delicate balance is the primary mission of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Mike Smith (right), IOGCC executive director, shared details of the organization’s activities to kick off Tuesday’s program at the Marcellus Shale Summit in State College. Pennsylvania is an active member of the commission. Smith served from 2002-04 as assistant secretary of fossil energy for the U.S. Department of Energy. He was responsible for several high-priority presidential initiatives, including the Bush Administration’s development of “clean coal” technologies. He formerly served as Oklahoma Secretary of Energy.

IOGCC is supporting scientifically valid regulation of hydraulic fracturing by states. The group also supports laws requiring companies involved in hydraulic fracturing to reveal the identity and the quantity of chemicals they use in the process. At the same time, IOGCC promotes policies that encourage continued gas and oil production across the country to maximize the economic potential and relieve U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources.

bradfieldIOGCC’s importance to states where shale gas is present was emphasized by Brad Field, director of the Division of Mineral Resources for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. New York has called a halt to most hydraulic fracturing and Marcellus Shale gas development to allow regulators time to review the potential environmental impact. Field said IOGCC has been a valuable resource to his state during the review process. That ban will likely be lifted, Field said, but regulators in New York intend to require pre-drilling assessments, close monitoring of well site activities and continuing reviews of water management, air quality and other aspects.

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One Comment

  1. Sarah G. says:

    Yea right more like their looking to make a fast buck!

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