Canonsburg, Pa. – Tonight, Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president and executive director Kathryn Klaber will deliver the following remarks at a public EPA forum on hydraulic fracturing. Excerpts and full text — as prepared for delivery — of her remarks are below:
- “Fracturing is considered a safe and essential part of the responsible development of natural gas, which studies have shown has the potential to create nearly 212,000 new jobs throughout Pennsylvania over the next decade.”
- “Our industry is working tirelessly to ensure that fracturing is done effectively, prudently and in a way that continues to create thousands of good-paying jobs and stable supplies of homegrown energy for U.S. consumers.”
My name is Kathryn Klaber, and I have the tremendous privilege of serving as the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s first president. And on behalf of the MSC – the organizational body that represents the vast majority of shale gas producers and midstream companies operating in the Commonwealth – I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the significant role hydraulic fracturing continues to play in the responsible development of clean-burning, job-creating natural gas.
As the MSC said at the outset of this study in March, our industry is confident that an objective, science-driven, and peer-reviewed evaluation of fracturing will reach the same conclusions produced by a host of other studies, including most notably one issued by your agency in 2004.
In that report — the product of an intensive, four-year course of study first initiated under the Clinton administration — EPA found “no evidence” suggesting the fracturing of shallow coalbed methane reserves posed a threat to underground drinking water supplies. Certainly you’re aware that coalbed methane strata reside thousands of feet closer to the water table than shale formations, and that the technology used today to access clean-burning natural gas from these formations is much more advanced and sophisticated than what was available in the past.
Here in Pennsylvania, fracturing has been in use for more than 50 years, and has been tightly regulated by the state almost before we had a name for it. Today, as you know, fracturing is considered a safe and essential part of the responsible development of natural gas, which studies have shown has the potential to create nearly 212,000 new jobs throughout Pennsylvania over the next decade.
Because of tight regulations and laws in place, coupled with the commitment from industry to protect the environment, there’s never been a single case of groundwater contamination associated with fracturing, as noted by PA DEP, top EPA officials, other state regulators, and the Groundwater Protection Council.
As EPA’s study moves forward, it’s critical to consider what the top officials responsible for regulating fracturing in the Commonwealth have said. Scott Perry, director of DEP’s bureau of oil and gas management – with whom my members work closely with – said this in May:
- “We’ve never seen an impact to fresh groundwater directly from fracking.”
- “No one’s ever documented drinking water wells that have actually been shown to be impacted by fracking.”
Pittsburgh Congressman Mike Doyle has said that state officials have “done a great job in regulating” Marcellus Shale exploration.
Unfortunately, while perceptions remain that our industry continues to resist regulations, the truth is quite the opposite. In fact, my member companies met earlier today with top DEP officials about well-casing standards; the second of such productive meetings in just months.
Our industry is working tirelessly to ensure that fracturing is done effectively, prudently and in a way that continues to create thousands of good-paying jobs and stable supplies of homegrown energy for U.S. consumers.
Once again, thank for the opportunity to speak here tonight about the critical role that hydraulic fracturing continues to play in realizing the Marcellus’s promise.
NOTE: Click HERE to view these remarks on-line.