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ELP Work on Shale Gas Policy

Production of natural gas from shale rock has increased dramatically in the United States (learn more about shale gas production). Regulators and industry-supported groups have taken a variety of approaches to address environmental risks associated with shale gas production. ELP has worked to provide guidance to people affected by shale gas development, investigated best regulatory practices, and analyzed the role that information disclosure plays in regulating development. ELP’s full list of publications about shale gas development includes public comments about a State rulemaking and papers addressing landowner concerns and FracFocus, the industry’s tool for disclosing chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

The Clinic’s recent work includes: a guide for landowners approached by a gas driller who wants to negotiate a lease for access to their land, analysis of municipal authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, and public comment on proposed regulations that allow the use of well brine for dust suppression on roads. In addition, Clinic students have presented on these issues to professional audiences; for instance, to provide analysis of the legal options available to individuals in West Virginia who own only the surface rights overlaying shale gas mineral rights.

Much of the Environmental Policy Initiative’s (EPI) work has related to shale gas disclosure requirements, such as a review of the online registry FracFocus as a regulatory disclosure mechanism, and a convening of a panel of experts to discuss disclosure laws. EPI Director Kate Konschnik has presented on disclosure issues before the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board, the Groundwater Protection Council, the National Governors’ Association, and the Aspen Institute. In November 2014, Kate published a paper entitled Goal-Oriented Disclosure Design for Shale Oil and Gas Development, in the Natural Resources Journal. [See this fracking chemical disclosure blog on the article by a former Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.]

In 2014, EPI Director Kate Konschnik teamed up with Mark Boling of Southwestern Energy, to publish a peer-reviewed article on approaches to risk mitigation in the shale gas context. EPI’s Director Kate Konschnik is also part of a multi-disciplinary working group studying potential risks of hydraulic fracturing to water quantity and quality.

The Clinic and the Policy Initiative also partnered on the development of a “best practices” guide for States reviewing complaints from landowners about the impacts of drilling on well water quality or quantity.

Recent Additions to our Shale Gas Library
Groundwater Protection Presentation Baseline Water Testing Chart
Download EPI’s Presentation to the Groundwater Protection Council Download Existing State Models for Baseline Water Testing

Please check these links for the most recent shale gas events and shale gas news.


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