Are CSSD’s Standards Really Needed? Comparison with PA/OH/WV/Feds

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) has a big hurdle to leap–convincing drillers to spend a lot of money and time (up to $50,000 and hundreds of hours) to become CSSD certified–and then ongoing monitoring to keep that certification. They’re using a carrot and stick. The carrot is that if you become certified, you’re elite, you’re “in”, you’re special–and landowners will be able to trust you. You’ll have the “Goodhouskeeping seal of approval” on your drilling because you’ve got the cert. The stick is that if you don’t get certified, you’re suspect, you’re in the “out” crowd, you’re not “one of us” and therefore landowners should be wary of signing a lease to have you drill on their property.

Beyond the perceptions, the real question is whether or not the standards themselves will achieve what they say they will achieve–safer and “sustainable” drilling that does a minimum amount of damage to the environment while retrieving low-cost, more efficient and better for the environment natural gas. But wait (you may ask), don’t the states and even the feds already have a bookshelf full of standards and regulations drillers must follow? Indeed they do. The CSSD says, in essence, those standards are fine, but our (CSSD) standards are far better. The crux of the CSSD argument is that you should voluntarily (with peer pressure and cajoling) follow our standards because we have PA, OH, WV and even the feds beat on how strict and yummy good for the environment our standards are over theirs. In fact, the CSSD has produced a chart (embedded below) to “prove” it…

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