Shell #2 to Receive Sustainable Shale Development Certification

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) announced yesterday that a second company has achieved the organization’s vaunted seal of approval: Shell. You may recall last September Chevron became the first Marcellus driller to receive CSSD certification (see CSSD Bestows First Certification for Sustainable Drilling: Chevron). Both Chevron and Shell, along with EQT and CONSOL Energy, are founding members of the organization. The CSSD is a partnership between the Marcellus industry and environmental groups to boost the standards–and the image–of shale drilling. It got its start two years (see Important: Drillers & Enviros Form New Group, Launch Cert Program). MDN was initially critical of the organization, with concerns about the expense of a certification for smaller companies–and because CSSD may be setting artificially high requirements that won’t “protect” the environment any more than existing state standards–why spend money and jump through hoops when there’s no real gain in environmental protection? (It also didn’t help that their early attitude was our way or the highway.) However, we’ve spoken to both Andrew Place of EQT, the original acting executive director for the organization, and Susan LeGros, current executive director. In speaking with them, many of our concerns were addressed. We’re not yet full-blown fans, but we’re also not taking pot shots at the organization. Their objective is a worthy one. Will it catch on? That remains to be seen. Here’s the announcement that Shell is now CSSD certified…

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