Can fracking be cleaned up? The International Energy Agency says yes, but it will take tougher regulations. Best practices are not enough. There is a fundamental role for government. Read these words of wisdom from a leader in the natural gas industry:
"It can't just be counting on companies to adopt best practices, because you'll only have a certain percentage of the well operators doing it," says Mark Boling, president of V+ Development Solutions, which is part of Southwestern Energy, a natural-gas producer. "You have to go the rest of the way and get regulations in place so that you have a level playing field and everyone is required to do the same thing."
I heard Mr. Boling speak at CERAWeek 2012 and was impressed with his candor.
If we are to obtain all of the benefits of responsibly developed natural gas, we need companies in the gas industry to step up and lead, and we need government at all levels to perform its fundamental protective function.