President Obama Discusses the Benefits of Shale Gas in his State of the Union Address

On Tuesday President Obama in his State of the Union address discussed the merits of shale gas.  The President made clear, "[a]nd nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy."

Obama went on to acknowledge that, "[w]e have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years."  He also made comments about the jobs being created by shale gas stating that,  "Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade." Read the full State of the Union address transcript.

Yet, despite his comments on the promise of shale gas and its economic benefit, the President also gave several clear indications that more regulation is to come.  Specifically he stated that, "I’m requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use."

The promulgation of hydraulic fracturing disclosure rules was first discussed by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and members of the House Natural Resources Committee in late 2010.

In October, November, and December 2011, Secretary Salazar stated that the DOI was “within weeks of” or “weeks away from” developing new regulations for natural gas and shale oil production on federal lands, including requiring the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Secretary Salazar cited to the preliminary nature of the EPA’s recent report in Wyoming related to fracking and that the findings needed to be reviewed by other scientists to determine the validity of the report’s suggestion that hydraulic fracturing is polluting groundwater.

Secretary Salazar expressed his commitment to working with the energy industry and environmental groups to draft the new disclosure regulations to insure that chemicals used in fracking are disclosed and to create tougher standards for well bores during the fracking process.

As of today, those proposed disclosure regulations have yet to be put out for public comment. Many states have already passed hydraulic fracturing disclosure laws and are discussed on this blog.

The energy community was quick to comment on Mr. Obama's statements and I have attached links to them below: