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New York State Fracking Ban: Gov. Cuomo Follows “Precautionary Principle”

New York State’s Governor Cuomo today issued a ruling, backed by a long awaited report on the public health implications of “high volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas development,” to ban the practice in New York State. The report is as important for what it does not find as what it does. It does not […]

Fracking in Focus: A Look at Voluntary Environmental Information Disclosure and Firm Size

The potential environmental risks posed by fracturing fluids—usually some mixture of chemicals and water—make hydraulic fracturing a highly controversial industrial process. These risks have prompted many stakeholders to request chemical disclosure reports on the fluids used by well operators. The oil and gas industry has responded by creating a fracturing chemical registry website—www.FracFocus.org—that allows operators […]

Resources Magazine: Utilities and the US Energy Revolution: Confronting a Shifting Landscape

In an excerpt from his remarks at an RFF Policy Leadership Forum, Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon, shares his thoughts on how the electricity industry is responding to major changes in how energy is produced, delivered, and consumed. On the Natural Gas Boom The advent of shale gas, as we all know, has […]

More Natural Gas, Less Warming?

The unexpected energy revolution caused by the rapid growth in North American shale gas production has produced benefits related to the economy, jobs, energy security, and local air pollution, and has contributed to a decrease in US greenhouse gas emissions. However, as my colleagues and I report in a new study published online today by Nature Advance […]

Examining the Market Structure of Shale Gas Drilling in the United States

Over the last decade, the shale gas boom has emerged as the biggest story in US energy. Gas extracted from shale formations accounted for only 1.6 percent of total US natural gas production in 2000, a share that ballooned to more than 40 percent by 2013. Its transformative influence on the American energy industry has […]

The Federal Multiagency Collaboration on Unconventional Oil and Gas Research Strategy: What Have We Learned?

The Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency recently released the long-awaited research strategy on unconventional oil and gas research. Its mandate was to produce timely, policy-relevant research questions that support sound policy decisions and prudent oil and gas development. It also was to “analyze and synthesize the state of […]

Stimulating Shale Gas Development in China: What Lessons to Learn from the US Experience?

China’s pressing need to reduce coal consumption has created a strong demand for the natural gas trapped in its large shale reserves. The Chinese government has already experimented with a number of policies aimed at promoting shale gas development, but building an industry that can successfully utilize these reserves will be difficult. Although the Ministry […]

Managing the Risks of Shale Gas Development Using Innovative Legal and Regulatory Approaches

At the heart of the US shale gas boom is a tense relationship between the desire for its economic benefits and the fear of its environmental costs. Regulatory measures and industry best practices can be adjusted to ease this tension, but the potential for incorporating innovative tools into new measures has been relatively understudied. Both […]

Twitter Q&A Roundup: Exploring the Local Impacts of Shale Gas Development

On April 10, RFF hosted a seminar on the benefits and costs of shale gas development as experienced by local communities, titled “Exploring the Local Impacts of Shale Gas Development.” As moderator of that event, I’ll attempt to tackle some of the questions posed by our Twitter audience during the event that we were unable […]

Identifying “Known Unknowns” in the Natural Gas Revolution

Last week, my colleagues and I released a new RFF report, The Natural Gas Revolution: Critical Questions for a Sustainable Energy Future. At one point, I began referring to this document as the “Known Unknowns” report, in reference to a widely quoted Donald Rumsfeld speech. As the former secretary of defense noted, there are certain […]