Natural gas policy

Natural gas can be a beneficial energy resource if produced in a manner that is good for public health and the environment

Natural gas is an important and growing part of our nation’s energy portfolio. It emits less greenhouse gases than coal when combusted and avoids mercury and other dangerous air pollutants that come from coal. It could be a win-win if — and this is a big if — we do it the right way.

EDF is taking a leading role to minimize risks associated with developing new supplies of natural gas, while maximizing the lower carbon benefit inherent to natural gas as compared to other fossil fuels.

What are the environmental risks?

Our approach to safer natural gas development is focused on the following key problem areas:

  • Exposure to toxic chemicals and waste products
  • Well construction and design
  • Climate impacts
  • Local and regional air quality
  • Land use and community impacts

Our work

Our team is working on the front lines to ensure that natural gas is produced in a way that safeguards public health and the environment through:

  • Comprehensive disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals
  • Modernization of rules for well construction and operation
  • Strict management of water and waste systems
  • State and national standards for improving air quality and reducing climate impacts
  • Minimization of land use and community impacts from natural gas development

Improving corporate performance

Even with tough standards in place, reducing methane emissions and minimizing environmental risk ultimately depends on industry embracing environmental responsibility. EDF is working with progressive gas companies on model rules for well construction and operation, supporting those in the industry who are forging a better path.

Read the National Geographic story on this partnership »

Strengthening environmental management in the shale gas industry

EDF president Fred Krupp was selected to serve on the Natural Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board.

The subcommittee’s final report is a call to action in Washington and in the states to make sure the panel’s recommendations are implemented. EDF realizes that it is no simple task to strike a balance between public safety and the development of this crucial energy resource, but it is essential that we do so. The public's right to clean water and clean air cannot be compromised.

Media contacts

Fact sheets, reports and links