WHEREAS, Over the past several years American consumers have benefited from substantially lower and more stable natural gas prices due to the development of technologies that allow energy producers to access significant supplies of domestic natural gas from shale formations and other unconventional reservoirs; and
WHEREAS, Responsible development of this new natural gas supply will further benefit consumers, provide new jobs, and lead to lower net emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. These benefits will be realized through the increased use of natural gas for such direct use applications as cooking, space heating and water heating, as well as increased use of natural gas for generating electricity, powering industry and fueling vehicles.; and
WHEREAS, The reservoirs that produce oil and gas are highly variable geologically and separated geographically across the oil and gas producing States such that State regulatory agencies are best suited by local expertise and experience to effectively regulate production inside their individual borders; and
WHEREAS, Recently, the completion practices required to produce natural gas, specifically from shale formations, have attracted considerable attention in both the media and public policy circles; and
WHEREAS, There have been significant and important efforts by public and private groups to take steps to reduce adverse environmental impacts associated with the development of natural gas shale; and
WHEREAS, on August 11, 2011, the Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board issued its Ninety-Day Report, which presented recommendations that if implemented will reduce the environmental impacts from shale gas production. These detailed recommendations support a process of continuous improvement in shale gas production, support the implementation of best practices, support increased measurement and disclosure and improved public information about shale gas operations, support improved communication among state and federal regulators, and call for continuing annual support to STRONGER (the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulation) and the Ground Water Protection Council for expansion of the Risk Based Data Management System and similar projects that can be extended to all phases of shale gas development. These recommendations cover improvements in air quality, protection of water quality, disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluid composition, reduction in the use of diesel fuel, and managing short-term and cumulative impacts on communities, land use, wildlife and ecologies. In organizing for best practices, the Secretary’s subcommittee also calls for the creation of a shale gas industry production organization dedicated to continuous improvement of best practice;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Legislative Exchange Council, convened at its 2011 State and Nations Policy Summit, encourages responsible resource development practices, balanced efforts to ensure reliable U.S. energy resources, and supports continued jurisdiction of the States to appropriately regulate oil and gas production in their unique geological and geographical circumstances.
Approved by ALEC Board of Directors in 2011.