Check out this article summarizing a recent event in New Jersey that featured a talk from Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA. Note what she says:
“I believe fracking as a technology is perfectly capable of being clean. But it requires people who are doing it and the innovators who create technology to make sure it be done right.”
This was after stating that states have done the right thing by leading the way on regulating fracking activities, but reiterating that the gas industry will comply with environmental laws and regulations. Citizens’ demand for high standards in New York serve as an example of how regulations may be developed appropriately so that natural gas drilling development may still occur. Note the calendar I posted on the home page of this blog with the countdown to the first public comment session for the NC DENR study.
My take away message from this is that collaboration is key to producing a valuable energy resource while protecting valuable water, air, and social/cultural resources. Kudos to Lisa Jackson for simply stating that this can and must be a win win situation. Reading reports of Representatives on the Congress floor stating that EPA involvement will destroy development of these gas resources is completely irresponsible, political grandstanding notwithstanding. Personally, I would still like to see some minimum standards set by the EPA regarding fracking, but I still appreciate Lisa Jackson’s broader message here. Clearly, industry leaders and environmental protection groups must find some common ground on the fracking issue to instill confidence in a weary public. Citizen participation is likely to be polarized, as individuals wish to exercise their mineral rights, but neighbors do not want industrial waste in their water supply. Both perspectives are valid. Both perspectives deserve respect. How can these divergent perspectives both have their interests met?