International Agency Calls for Action on Natural Gas Safety
New environmental controls on natural gas "fracking" are both needed and affordable, the International Energy Agency says.
"There is a very real possibility that public opposition to drilling for shale gas and other types of unconventional gas will halt the unconventional gas revolution in its tracks," said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven in a statement. "The industry must win public confidence by demonstrating exemplary performance."
Among the standards IEA advocates: Full, mandatory disclosure of "fracking" chemicals, "robust rules" on well construction and design to prevent groundwater pollution, and an aim for zero venting and minimal flaring of methane. Methane, the major component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas.
To prepare the report, the Paris-based agency obtained input from more than 50 industry experts, environmental groups and government agencies around the world.
Last year, the IEA declared