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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Center for Sustainable Shale Development launches programs to cool industry response

Less than a year after its creation, the Center for Sustainable Shale Development has launched its certification and verification programs - based on 15 initial performance standards - and has hired an auditor.

The response from the industry so far is at best tepid, if not dismissive

I don't believe that there's any substitute for stronger regulations, enforcement, and monitoring. They are essential functions of government. But collaborative efforts can be instrumental in raising the performance bar for the gas industry. The Center and its participants - particularly the industry members who will seek certification - have made a commitment to objective, measurable standards and transparency. Those elements are sorely needed - and for the most part lacking - in the hyperbolic debate that swirls around unconventional oil and gas development. 

It's certainly appropriate to scrutinize the standards, but the fact is, all involved have put themselves on the line with this effort. It should be applauded, not ignored. The industry fails to support this at its peril.

Will shale gas companies step up? And what will it mean for the industry if they don't?

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