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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Resources for the Future releases must-read report on shale gas risks

Resources for the Future’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP) has released the results of a survey of 256 shale gas experts (yours truly included) from government agencies, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizationsto identify the priority environmental risks related to shale gas development—those for which the experts believe government regulation and/or voluntary industry practices are currently inadequate to protect the public or the environment.

Pathways to Dialogue: What the Experts Say about the Environmental Risks of Shale Gas Development found a high degree of consensus among experts about the specific risks to mitigate on 12 risk pathways:

  • 7 involve potential risks to surface water,
  • 2 involve potential risks to air quality,
  • 2 involve potential risks to groundwater, and
  • 1 is related to habitat disruption.

 RFF, p. 17

The report is a rich resource and a must-read.

These “pathways to dialogue” can provide industry leaders, policymakers, and the public with a firm starting place for further dialogue in balancing the benefits and risks of shale gas development.

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