API President and CEO Jack Gerard welcomed the shale gas subcommittee's acknowledgement of the economic and energy security benefits of natural gas development, but said the specific recommendations were disappointing and confusing.
"The committee's recommendations are deficient in large part because the committee failed to adequately acknowledge existing programs and rules. It called for new air emission standards when comprehensive EPA rules already are in place or are being revised. It recommended reduction in use of diesel engines, oblivious or dismissive of the practical and economic considerations that require their use. And it ignored consideration of the potential benefits and costs of new rules, an omission that could cause harm to consumers, jobs and the economy. The shortcomings may in part be due to the fact that none of its members are from the industry or have direct experience in natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.
"The industry is committed to appropriate environmental protections and industry best practices, but is concerned that the subcommittee's recommendations could end up frustrating the many benefits that will come from further development of America's vast supply of natural gas, including the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs and increasing our nation's energy security. We urge the committee to revise its recommendations to better reflect the facts on hydraulic fracturing, the extensive regulations under which the industry operates, and the industry's new best practices."
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