Center for Sustainable Shale Comes Roaring Back (to Life)

roaring backFinally, signs of life from the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), a new independent certification organization for Marcellus Shale drillers launched with much fanfare in March of last year. Both drillers and environmentalist organizations, along with non-profits like the mostly anti-drilling Heinz Endowments, cooperated to develop a set of 15 standards drillers should meet to receive the CSSD’s official stamp of approval (see Important: Drillers & Enviros Form New Group, Launch Cert Program for MDN’s mixed feelings about the organization and its standards). Heinz Endowments president Bobby Vagt lost his job for promoting the CSSD (see Bobby Vagt Out as Pres of Heinz Endowments – Fracking Connection?).

Since launching, aside from the Vagt/Heinz flap, all has been quiet with the CSSD. However, the CSSD was busy working behind the scenes. From the beginning, Andrew Place, corporate director of energy and environmental policy for EQT has served as interim director of the CSSD. News reports are now coming fast and furious. First, environmentalist lawyer Susan LeGros from Philadelphia has been named the director of the CSSD. She’ll be making a move to Pittsburgh where CSSD HQ is located. Second, Bureau Veritas (BV) has been selected as the company to audit/evaluate companies that want to spend the $30-$100K required to become certified. After they evaluate, a 3-member panel will decide on whether they get the stamp of approval. Two of those three people are Christy Todd Whitman, former governor of NJ and former EPA chief, and former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. Third, it appears to MDN that no one else has joined the CSSD beyond the initial handful of signups (Shell, EQT, Chevron, CONSOL Energy), and that no one has sought certification–although that may change now that the cert process is up and running…

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