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The Opportunity and Impacts of Natural Gas from Shale in Southwest Pennsylvania Jared Cohon President Emeritus

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The Opportunity and Impacts of Natural Gas from Shale in Southwest Pennsylvania Jared Cohon President Emeritus University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy. From “The Hidden Costs of Energy,” National Research Council, 2010.

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The Opportunity and Impacts of Natural Gas from Shale in Southwest Pennsylvania

Jared Cohon

President Emeritus

University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy

In adopting the final report, Roundtable members endorse that it was built on constructive dialogue, was informed by sound research and information, and that the included recommendations merit consideration by policymakers at all levels as they seek to effectively and safely manage unconventional oil and gas development.

While the Roundtable has achieved general agreement on the report’s value in informing decision makers, individual Roundtable members may not agree on the details of every recommendation. The final report reflects the careful deliberations and findings of the Shale Gas Roundtable; it does not necessarily reflect the views of the members’ affiliated organizations or of the Institute of Politics.

roundtable summary
  • 26 diverse and multi-sector members
  • Focused on 10 Southwestern Pennsylvania counties with statewide and national implications
  • 2 year research, benchmarking, stakeholder outreach, and discussion process
  • Recommendations formed through extensive dialogue and consensus building
  • 8 core recommendations and many additional recommendations in the areas of water management, unitization and conservation, midstream development, and research
membership listing
  • William Bates, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group
  • Cynthia Carrow, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • Jared Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University, Cochair
  • Kevin Colosimo, Burleson
  • Caren Glotfelty, The Heinz Endowments
  • Tori Haring-Smith, Washington & Jefferson College
  • Patrick Henderson, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
  • Norman Hipps, Saint Vincent College
  • Scott Izzo, Richard King Mellon Foundation
  • Nels Johnson, The Nature Conservancy
  • George Jugovic Jr., PennFuture
  • Jeffrey Kupfer, Chevron
  • Grant Oliphant, The Pittsburgh Foundation
  • Barry Osborne, Range Resources Corporation
  • Scott Perry, PA DEP
  • Andrew Place, EQT Corporation
  • Phil Poux, Ducks Unlimited
  • James Roddey, ParenteBeard, Cochair
  • Rod Ruddock, Indiana County
  • Kurt Salvatori, CONSOL Energy
  • Edith Shapira, Psychiatrist/Community Volunteer
  • Pam Snyder, PA House of Representatives
  • Richard Taylor, Imbue Technology Solutions
  • William Thompson, Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board
  • Elder Vogel, Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Davitt Woodwell, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
background process cont
Background & Process, cont.

“Our central question was this: As a region, how can we most effectively and responsibly safeguard our communities and environment, grow our economy, and manage unconventional oil and gas development? Our members recognized the value judgments and trade-offs inherent in attempting to answer this question and the balancing act that would be necessary to make progress.”

-Cochair Letter, Final Report

getting it right framework 2012 13
“Getting It Right” Framework 2012-13
  • “The economic benefits of unconventional resource development are often described as worthwhile as long as that development is done right. Roundtable members agree, but ‘done right’ often is not well-defined.”
  • Roundtable ingredients for a “getting it right” framework:
    • a strong, adaptive legal and regulatory system with adequate implementation staff and resources
    • aggressive development and industry adoption of best management practices and other operational performance standards
    • investments in technological and operational innovation
    • carefully targeted and balanced research to inform the continual improvement of statutes, regulations, best management practices, standards, and technology
getting it right framework cont
“Getting It Right” Framework, cont.
  • If Pennsylvania and its surrounding states pursue excellence in these four areas, the Appalachian Basin could serve as a national model for getting unconventional upstream, midstream, and downstream development right.
  • Specifically, the Roundtable believes that Pennsylvania could best implement this framework by aiming progress at three interrelated goals:
    • Minimizing the acute and cumulative impacts of oil and gas activity on the environment, public health, and local communities
    • Minimizing surface disturbance from oil and gas activity and maximizing the efficiency of resource recovery and transport
    • Enhancing the regional use of natural gas and supporting opportunities for regional economic growth based on the full natural gas value chain
recommendations development
Recommendations Development
  • Within this framework and these goals, the Roundtable selected a small number of focus areas:
    • Policy-relevant research
    • Conservation and unitization
    • Water management
    • Midstream development (pipelines and related infrastructure)
  • In addition to these 4 areas, the Roundtable also made 8 core, overarching recommendations
core recommendations
Core Recommendations
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should:
    • Increase investments in improving the accuracy, functionality, and transparency of its oil and gas data infrastructure
    • Develop regulatory staffing parameters and oil and gas annual reports
    • Restructure the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board
    • Continue to regularly evaluate the ability of existing budget support and permit fees to support oil and gas regulation
    • Participate in regular, comprehensive STRONGER reviews
core recommendations cont
Core Recommendations, cont.
  • The federal government, state government, and stakeholder groups should support efforts to increase balanced research on and rigorous monitoring of the possible impacts of unconventional oil and gas development
  • Government, industry, and regional universities should support NETL as the premier national unconventional oil and gas technology research hub and, through NETL, continue to advance technology and operational innovations
  • DEP should strengthen engagement with and support of various cross-sector and industry efforts to develop Best Management Practices
modernization of the oil gas conservation law
Modernization of the Oil & Gas Conservation Law
  • Balanced proposal for the first Conservation Law update since 1961 so that it:
    • Limits surface disturbance and well pad density
    • Removes different conservation rules for different shale layers
    • Increases the efficiency of natural gas extraction
    • Accounts for modern technology and approaches
  • DEP would be the primary implementing agency for the updated law
water management
Water Management
  • Detailed recommendations in 9 categories:
    • Water sourcing
    • Hydraulic fracturing chemicals
    • Erosion and sedimentation
    • Impoundments and containers
    • Vehicle traffic and water transport
    • Wastewater treatment and disposal
    • Groundwater protection
    • Water-related violations
    • Regional water management
midstream recommendations
Midstream Recommendations
  • Crafting legislative and regulatory provisions that, in the public interest, encourage the efficient development of intrastate midstream infrastructure
  • Creating and leveraging opportunities for enhanced communication between midstream operators and other key stakeholders
  • Ensuring the availability of the necessary expertise and resources for state midstream permitting, planning, and inspection agencies
midstream recommendations cont
Midstream Recommendations, cont.
  • Maintaining the protective adequacy of pipeline safety regulations, especially as larger volume, higher pressure gathering and transmission systems are being constructed
  • Minimizing and avoiding surface disturbance, forest fragmentation, and other impacts on sensitive ecological areas
  • Monitoring and responding to the implications of cumulative pipeline placement decisions on the needs of communities and citizens, on the potential for Pennsylvania consumers to use gas produced within the state’s borders, and on the future use and value of land
founding members
Founding Members
  • Chevron
  • Clean Air Task Force
  • CONSOL Energy
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • EQT Corporation
  • Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP)
  • Heinz Endowments
  • Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council
  • Shell
  • William Penn Foundation
board of directors
Board of Directors
  • Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force
  • Jared Cohon, President Emeritus of Carnegie Mellon University
  • Nicholas Deluliis, President of CONSOL Energy
  • Paul Goodfellow, Vice President, U.S. Unconventionals, Shell
  • Paul King, President, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
  • Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Jane Long, Principal Associate Director/Fellow, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (retired)
  • Nigel Hearne, President, Chevron Appalachia
  • Paul O’Neill, former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department and former CEO of Alcoa
  • David Porges, President and CEOof EQT Corporation
  • Robert Vagt, President, The Heinz Endowments
  • Christine Todd Whitman, former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and former Governor of New Jersey
groundwater protection standards
Groundwater Protection Standards
  • Zero discharge of wastewater until adoption of a treatment standard.
  • Wastewater recycling – > 90%.
  • Closed loop containment of drilling fluids.
  • Double-lined impoundments with leak detection.
  • Pad specific Area of Review and risk analysis.
  • Groundwater monitoring– pre and post operation.
  • Casing and cement standards.
  • Disclosure of well stimulation fluids.
  • Well pad design –minimizing risk to water sources.
  • Spill response and public notification plans.
regional air and ghg standards
Regional Air and GHG Standards
  • Removal of hydrocarbons from flowback and produced water before storage.
  • Reduced Emissions Completions – with exceptions.
  • Flaring requirements – 98% destruction efficiency.
  • Emissions standards for:
      • diesel drilling rig engines
      • fracpump engines
      • compressor engines
      • on-road truck engines
  • Condensate tank emissions control.
  • Reciprocating compressor and pneumatic controller emissions reductions.