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 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.
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.
Fact sheets, reports and links
November 3, 2014A guide to well integrity regulations.
May 13, 2013Public health and the environment must come first.
June 1, 2012Review of air pollution issues associated with oil and natural gas operations by Ramon Alvarez in AWMA’s EM Magazine. Contact www.awma.org for reprints.
November 18, 2011DOE panel issues a “call to action” on natural gas oversight and stresses the importance of implementing prior recommendations for the shale gas industry.
Sept. 27, 2011Testimony of senior economic policy analyst Susanne Brooks at EPA public hearing on oil and natural gas standards.
EPA’s proposed air pollution standards for the oil and natural gas sector preliminary analysis [PDF]
Sept. 26, 2011We examine the proposal’s principal elements, noting strengths and recommendations for improvement.
August 18, 2011Reassuring the public on environmental concerns is crucial.
August 11, 2011Report recommends oversight, enforcement and a new level of transparency in the shale gas industry.
April 2, 2011For a leading environmentalist, natural gas can be a solution only if industry does its part to allay concerns.
February 24, 2011Joint industry-environmentalist model approach among those weighed in Canada.
February 11, 2011Senior policy advisor Scott Anderson joins The Canadian Institute to discuss safe, responsible drilling.