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Natural Gas, Politics and Policy, Shale
Bankers, bowling centers and energy industry groups today found common ground, uniting to implore the Obama administration not to impose new hurdles to hydraulic fracturing techniques used to extract natural gas from shale formations across the U.S.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, a diverse assortment of 119 organizations stressed that low-cost shale gas is a boon for consumers, manufacturers and others who depend on the fossil fuel.
But the bounty depends on hydraulic fracturing techniques that have been questioned by environmentalists and face new scrutiny from federal regulators at the Energy Department, Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.
The groups argued that “effective state and federal regulations” are sufficient to ensure natural gas drilling is conducted safely, without damage to groundwater and the environment. New federal regulations that hamper hydraulic fracturing and natural gas development would hurt the U.S. economy, the organizations warn.
Instead, they say, “government policies must encourage the continued investment in new energy development and allow it to proceed efficiently.” The groups add:
“There is huge potential to expand (natural gas) development, which can strengthen our nation’s economic recovery and put people back to work. Without hydraulic fracturing, that potential will not be realized, and we will not enjoy the tremendous economic and job creation benefits our nation’s abundant supplies of natural gas can provide.”