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Thursday, July 10, 2014

How to talk to the natives

The American Petroleum Institute has issued Community Engagement Guidelines - "recommendations designed to promote the safe and responsible development of the nation’s oil and natural gas resources by engaging and respecting the communities where these operations occur."

The need is national. In Pennsylvania, shale gas wells and related industrial infrastructure are being located closer to population centers than in several other oil and gas producing states, giving rise to perhaps more intense conflicts. But the industry as a whole has largely missed opportunities for constructive engagement here, and the hubris of Act 13 has added fuel to the fire.

At first glance, the guidelines look solid enough. While they could raise the bar for the industry, the fact that they needed to be issued in the first place speaks volumes.

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