Tom Kurth in Natural Gas Week: Middle-Ground Approach to NatGas Fracking Oversight Gains Traction


With no end in sight to questions about the environmental risks of shale gas development, many observers are beginning to wonder if the gas industry should settle for a bit more regulation if it gets opponents off their backs.


Although gas producers have long said that their drilling projects are already regulated effectively at the state level, more and more firms are coming out in favor of additional state regulation of hydraulic fracturing, a prolific but chemical-intensive well stimulation technique.


Part of growing favoritism toward mild regulation was spawned from an industry-friendly compromise policy recently enacted in the nation’s leading gas-producing state, Texas, which houses the Barnett and Eagle Ford shale formations.


Most in the industry remain opposed to federal regulation of fracturing, though some observers are suggesting that modest US Environmental Protection Agency involvement may help establish national safety standards.


Thomas Kurth, a Dallas-based attorney who represents all types of clients on fracturing disputes, said EPA involvement would be “redundant.”


“That’s a waste of time and an unnecessary expense,” he told Natural Gas Week.


Excerpt from Natural Gas Week, August 2, 2011. Online link not available.

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