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Monday, August 19, 2013

University Of Pittsburgh Shale Gas Roundtable releases must-read final report

Following two years of study on ways to improve unconventional oil and gas development in southwestern Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh’s Shale Gas Roundtable has released a comprehensive report of its deliberations, findings, and recomendations.  

The report is dense, careful, thorough, and thoughtful – a must-read. 

The executive summary says that the Roundtable concluded that the necessary ingredients for a “getting it right” framework for unconventional gas development are:

It says:
If Pennsylvania and its surrounding states pursue excellence in these four areas, the Appalachian Basin could serve as a national model for getting unconventional upstream, midstream, and downstream development right. Specifically, the Roundtable believes that Pennsylvania could best implement this framework by aiming progress at three interrelated goals:
  • Minimizing surface disturbance from oil and gas activity and maximizing the efficiency of resource recovery and transport
  • Enhancing the regional use of natural gas and supporting opportunities for regional economic growth based on the full natural gas value chain
The report calls for rigorous monitoring of possible impacts of unconventional gas development, for improved planning, and for improving transparency of state government. In particular, the Roundtable calls for better, clearer, and more easily accessible state reporting; for participation by the Commonwealth in independent assessments of the adequacy of state regulations; for regular evaluation of enforcement needs; and for development of enforcement staffing parameters.

The report should be mandatory reading for state policymakers - in Pennsylvania and across the nation. 

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