President Obama recently instructed Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to form the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) Natural Gas Subcommittee, a group of six experts from academe, industry and environmental groups to advise President Obama on how to improve the safety of shale gas development, with a focus specifically on hydraulic fracturing. No doubt the “advising” part will turn into federal regulations at some point, so both sides of the debate are anxious to make their voices heard.
The SEAB met in Washington, PA last night (near Pittsburgh, PA) in a public hearing to elicit comments from the public. According to press accounts, some 400 people showed up from across Pennsylvania and from neighboring states as well—all there to voice their opinions. Among the 90 speakers allowed two minutes each was Josh Fox, creator of the documentary Gasland.
One press account said that there were more in favor of drilling than against—but both sides were there in large numbers with signs and with raucous approval or disapproval for the speakers.
For more information about the SEAB, visit the website: //www.shalegas.energy.gov/
Below are links to several (of many) stories covering last night’s event:
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jun 14, 2011) – Raucous crowd meets on shale debate
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Jun 14, 2011) – Hearing was ‘ban fracking now!’ vs. ‘drill, baby, drill!’
- The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register (Jun 14, 2011) – Heated Frack Debate In Pa.
- Scranton The Times Leader/AP (Jun 14, 2011) – Fracking friends, foes spar