Thursday, March 7, 2013

NM HB 429: Private Right of Action NMELC Email Alert

Below is an email alert from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) regarding HB 429, Private Right of Action:

You are receiving this because you would probably want to have the right to sue to enforce New Mexico's environmental laws against polluters.  This is especially important when the state agencies and/or attorney general choose not go after polluters.

There is a law pending which would allow just that.  You can obtain additional information about it at:

The following legislator needs to hear from you, your family and friends, ASAP. He needs to hear that this is a law that New Mexico needs to protect our environment and assure environmental justice to our communities.

It is very important that your legislators hear that you want the Private Right of Action bill passed.

Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this legislation if you have not done so already and then call your legislators and pass on the word to others to do the same.  The list below is for a key legislative vote:

Rep. Jim Trujillo, Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Representative Since:
1901 Morris Place

Santa Fe, NM 87505
Capitol Phone: (505)
Capitol Room #:
Office Phone:

Home Phone:
(505) 438-8890

If you have access to mass email lists that will target people who have the above representative, please customize this mailing and pass it on.
This is needed NOW.

Thank you and please excuse any cross-posting of this message.

And thank you for taking time to advance this issue!

Santa Fe
Representative Since:
1709 Callejon Zenaida

Santa Fe, NM 87501
Capitol Phone: (505)
Capitol Room #:

Office Phone:

Home Phone:
(505) 982-1292

Santa Fe
Representative Since:
11 West Gutierrez Street #3212

Santa Fe, NM 87506
Capitol Phone: (505)
Capitol Room #:

Office Phone:

Home Phone:
(505) 699-6690

Saturday, March 2, 2013

SB 547 Tabled 8-2

Not surprisingly, the bill is tabled 8-2.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Follow up to SB 547

There seems to be a lot of interest in SB 547 (see previous posts about the fracking ban).  It has been rescheduled to be heard tomorrow (March 2) at 8:30am in Room 326 by the Senate Conservation Committee.

There appears to be an amendment to the bill, which would exclude about 20% of New Mexico consisting of the NW and SE areas where drilling is established on a commercial scale.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

NM SB 547 Not Heard Today

The fracking ban bill (see previous post) was not heard.  No Republicans showed; no quorum.  To be rescheduled...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rooted Lands

Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute,

Wednesday Night Movie Series,

Shows begin at 7pm


February 27

Rooted Lands

“Fracking has become a burning issue in Mora and San Miguel counties in recent years. Now a documentary film chronicling local efforts to hold fracking at bay is hitting the big screen in Las Vegas.” – Las Vegas Optic

The rural villages of Mora and San Miguel in New Mexico stand up and speak out against one of the world’s most powerful and dirty industries. Rooted Lands explores the citizen grassroots movement against gas and oil development tactics that include fracking and dramatic production of waste products. As mineral leases are bought by oil and gas speculators in rural counties like Mora and San Miguel, NM citizens are learning they must stand up to protect land and culture from suffering the Four Corners fate: “Mora County…is still pristine. They’re fighting to keep it that way. We’ve already lost that here [in the Four Corners]. The wellheads are leaking. The pits have overflowed…” Rooted Lands shows how the residents of mostly Hispanic villages (among the poorest communities in the U.S.) are speaking out against the powerful, dirty industry that threatens NM’s land and water.
“This is how we change federal law, folks, it starts at the bottom.”

Selection for Santa Fe Film Festival 2012
Selection for Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2013
Running time: 64 minutes.

New Mexico Senate Bill 547: Ban Horizontal Oil & Gas Fracturing

NM Senator William P. Soules - (D) from District 37, Dona Ana County, Las Cruces, is the sponsor of SB 547.  The bill is scheduled to be heard Thursday, Feb. 28 by the Senate Conservation Committee in Room 311.  The committee meets at 2:30pm.

SB 547 reads as follows:


'"[NEW MATERIAL] HORIZONTAL HYDRAULIC FRACTURING BANNED.--A person shall not combine horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing in the state for the purpose of extracting oil or natural gas."'

Drilling oversight best left to locals

Please read the editorial from the Santa Fe New Mexican, "Drilling oversight best left to locals":

- See more at:
Full article link>>>>


"Residents in counties where drilling is less established — San Miguel, Taos, Mora and Rio Arriba, for example — have another point of view. So worried are county governments, in fact, that they are considering following Santa Fe County in writing more restrictive rules that companies must follow if they want to drill. Rio Arriba has an ordinance, and is considering amendments to tighten it.

To head off the renegade counties, the state and industry would like to clarify just who controls drilling regulations. Stepping up to help out is state Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, who has introduced Senate Bill 463, which would cede power to the state — taking away a county government’s right to protect its water and land as it sees fit. This is an industry-backed bill, and somewhat surprising for Cisneros, who is calling it a way to start a conversation about state and local authority. Well, we agree that he has sparked a debate, perhaps a more fiery one than he wanted. It only makes sense to let the people closest to the land and water decide what happens in their backyards. Just as folks in Hobbs and Lovington don’t seem to mind drilling, farmers and small ranchers in Mora County or Rio Arriba County want more answers about whether drilling will damage their water — and that should be their prerogative. The backlash been so loud, that Cisneros is thinking of switching the bill’s status to a memorial that requests a study. He is right that the two viewpoints — locals’ desire to protect their land and water, and an industry’s need to develop resources and make money — are often “diametrically opposed.” We’d say the good senator should side with his constituents over the needs of industry."

Monday, February 25, 2013

State preemption and other bills

Staci Matlock | The New Mexican
Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013

..."A fight ahead

Both the state and industry want a law clarifying authority over oil and gas operations. The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association convinced Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, to carry a bill this session giving the state the power to preempt local oil and gas ordinances.

“We thought it was a way to respect both state and local governments,” said Wally Drangmeister, communications director for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

Cisneros said Senate Bill 463 is a way to start a needed conversation about the jurisdiction of the state versus local governments over oil and gas operations. “The intent was to get the dialogue going,” Cisneros said."...

Sidebar of oil & gas bills by Staci Matlock, SFNM:

Oil and gas bills
"• House Bill 136 (Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe) requires more extensive disclosure of chemicals and fluids used in fracking fluids than currently required under a state Oil Conservation Division rule.
Industry says the chemicals that are considered hazardous or toxic under federal law are already listed on state forms, but that the amounts and mixtures are “trade secrets.” The New Mexico Attorney General found that companies claimed trade secret protection for 84 percent of fracking fluids listed, higher than Texas or Colorado.
The bill squeaked through the House Energy and Natural Resources committee, chaired by Egolf, with Republicans voting against it. The bill has yet to be scheduled in its next committee, House Agriculture and Water Resources.
• HB 286 (Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, and Michael Sanchez, D-Belen) Increases the bonds and penalties under the Oil and Gas Act for well operators. The blanket financial assurance bonds, last updated in 1978, would increase to a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $100,000. The penalties for violators of the act, unchanged since 1935, would rise from $1,000 per day to $10,000.
Increasing the penalty for violations isn’t the issue with Karin Foster, executive director of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico. She said the increased penalties would be in line with violations under other state laws, but the bill removes wording that makes the penalties apply only to oil and gas operators who “knowingly and willfully” violate the Oil and Gas Act.
• HB 335 (Egolf and Sanchez) would require groundwater assessment and monitoring for fracking oil and gas wells. Requires geologic and hydrologic tests within a 2,000-meter radius of a well head to a depth of 1,000 feet below the oil or gas well’s target depth. The bill specifies a list of chemicals to be tested for with the intent of establishing a baseline for water quality before oil or gas production begins. The bill will be heard first in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
• HB 429 (Georgene Louis, D-Albuquerque) would allow a private citizen or entity to sue the state to enforce environmental regulations if they feel an agency’s failure to act is causing them harm. Republicans in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted against the bill, saying it would increase the number of frivolous lawsuits. Advocates from environmental and citizen groups say it will help ordinary people ensure agencies and staff are upholding permits and laws. The measure passed the committee 6-5, after an amendment was added that will make the loser of any such lawsuit — defendant or plaintiff — pay the costs. The measure will be heard next by the House Judiciary Committee.
•  Senate Bill 463 (Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa) state preemption of local oil and gas laws."


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Santa Fe County Oil & Gas Ordinance Video

From Red Rock Pictures, a new video about the Santa Fe County Ordinance:

NM Bill to Preempt County Oil & Gas Ordinances

A New Mexico bill introduced, then gone?  See below the email cut-n-paste from Kim Sorvig:

"Dear friends –
Well, it appears we did it!  For those who haven’t heard, Sen. Carlos Cisneros got so much negative publicity for his State Pre-emption bill (SB 463) that when interviewed on KVOT (Taos) yesterday, he said that the bill was “going nowhere” and “dead”, and that he had requested the chairman of the Conservation Committee (Peter Wirth) to “put it on hold.”

We still need to keep an eye on this.  A bill “on hold” is NOT entirely “dead” and can be re-introduced by the sponsor on request, at any time.  However, in this case, scheduling is Sen. Wirth’s call, completely.  I am confident that he will make sure the public knows about it if the bill arises from the grave.

Apparently NMOGA has emerged from the smoke-and-mirrors as the obvious origin of the bill, and they are pushing hard on Cisneros (and anybody else they can) to get their bill back in circulation.  But it is going to take a lot for Cisneros to reverse himself now.

This was a stealth bill – titled so you wouldn’t have a clue what it did or that it was about oil and gas.  Likely, Sen. Cisneros was not supposed to let any publicity happen.  We have had a chance to see how NMOGA goes about their business, which can help us next time around.

From everything I am hearing, it was your e-mails and calls that made this happen.  Thanks to Commissioner Liz Stefanics for the initial alert when the bill was introduced; to Nancy Stapp (KVOT) for publicizing citizen concerns and the great interview with Cisneros; to Pat Leahan of Las Vegas Peace and Justice for a brilliantly clear summary of the issues on an earlier Nancy Stapp show; to Gail Buono for her watchdog duty; and to all of you who took action and forwarded the information.

We have to be in this for the long term.  Pre-emption will be back.  But we made our voice heard. Let’s make that an annual event!

Kim Sorvig
PS: You can listen to both the Cisneros interview (scary or hysterical, depending on your mood) AND Pat Leahan’s excellent issues summary, at the following website.  The recordings will either stream or download.


Senate Bill 463 link:  click here>>>>

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Planned Gold (Ortiz) Mine

"A company that wants to mine for gold in the Ortiz Mountains southeast of Madrid again has a lease to explore and mine in the area, thanks to the settlement of a federal lawsuit.

“Now that the litigation is behind us, we intend to proceed immediately with our proposed work programs,” Pierce Carson, president and CEO of Santa Fe Gold Corp., said in an announcement Wednesday.

“We believe new technical studies will support our previous preliminary conclusion that the Ortiz gold deposits form the basis of an economically attractive mine development.”

Carson, of Albuquerque, acknowledged in an interview that any mining is still probably several years away, following technical, biological, environmental and archeological studies and then efforts to get through the permitting process of both state government and Santa Fe County.

The county enacted a tough zoning ordinance regulating extractive industries after an oil and gas drilling proposal provoked controversy about five years ago.

“We think the effect on the environment is reasonably minimal,” Carson said. “We don’t have to use chemicals to extract the gold.”

Last year, Santa Fe Gold sued Kansas-based Ortiz Mines, Inc., after that company terminated Santa Fe Gold’s lease to explore and mine for gold and other minerals on about 43,000 acres of the Ortiz Mine Grant.

Santa Fe Gold obtained a seven-year mineral lease with Ortiz Mines in 2004 and made the deal public in 2008. Santa Fe Gold said in the 2011 lawsuit that it had made $753,224 in lease payments so far.

But Ortiz Mining served notice last June that it was terminating the lease, citing concerns that Santa Fe Gold wasn’t doing enough to move the project forward.

Santa Fe Gold maintained it had met all lease obligations. Santa Fe Gold also blamed Ortiz Mines for creating a negative climate for mining or drilling in the Santa Fe area because it had leased mineral rights to Texas-based Tecton Energy in 2007. Those plans set off a public uproar that drove off Tecton and resulted in the restrictive new county ordinance."  More>>>>

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Mexico judge halts pit rule appeals

Susan Montoya Bryan | The Associated Press

"ALBUQUERQUE — A state district judge on Tuesday sided with New Mexico's oil and gas industry, putting on hold legal appeals related to efforts by the industry to revamp rules for handling drilling and production wastes.

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association had asked for the appeals process to be halted so the state Oil Conservation Commission could tackle the so-called pit rule administratively.

The commission has scheduled a weeklong hearing later this month to address the industry's proposed changes to the rule, but environmentalists are seeking to stop the proceeding. " More>>>>

Thursday, December 8, 2011

EPA: Fracking may cause groundwater pollution

By Mead Gruver, Associated Press

"CHEYENNE, Wyo. – CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday for the first time that fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.

The draft finding could have significant implications while states try to determine how to regulate the process. Environmentalists characterized the report as a significant development though it met immediate criticism from the oil and gas industry and a U.S. senator." More>>>>

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Debate over fracking heats up


"Fracking debate before state Oil and Gas Commission

SANTA FE -- As the issue becomes talked about more and more, industry has moved to start talking about it publicly. The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association is taking part in a nationwide program conducted by the industry to disclose the chemical compounds in fracking fluids. When the initiative came up this past summer, Steve Henike of the state industry group says they want the Oil and Gas Commission to approve disclosure of fracking compounds after a well is drilled. But Doug Micklejohn of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center says disclosure should take place before, not after, the fact. " Listen>>>>

Monday, November 7, 2011

Supreme Court refuses to hear renewable fuel case

Market Pulse Archives

Nov. 7, 2011, 1:07 p.m. EST

By Steve Gelsi

"NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a request from the oil and chemical industry to strike down the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA); as well as the American Petroleum Institute submitted a petition in July for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case." More>>>

Cuadrilla Resources confirms that fracking caused earthquakes

"LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Shale gas exploration triggered small earthquakes near Blackpool in northwest England earlier this year, UK firm Cuadrilla Resources said, adding to concerns about the safety of a technology that is transforming U.S. energy markets." More>>>>

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Senator wants debate on pipeline safety bill


"(AP) WASHINGTON — The only senator opposed to a bill to toughen federal safety regulation of oil and gas pipelines said Wednesday he's willing to work with Senate leaders to schedule a debate on the measure, but he's still blocking expedited passage.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is philosophically opposed to federal regulation, also blamed Democratic leaders for the Senate's failure to act on the measure, saying they could have scheduled a debate and vote on the bill at any time."...

..."The bill is supported by the industry's major trade associations — the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the American Gas Association and the Association of Oil Pipelines — as well as the Pipeline Safety Trust, a safety advocacy group."...

..."Paul's actions show he is "blinded by ideology" and "indifferent to the overwhelming evidence that self-regulation of the gas industry is a prescription for further death and injury," Speier said in a statement." More>>>>

Monday, September 19, 2011

New York fracking lawsuit could set drilling precedent


Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:04pm EDT

"* Anschutz Exploration files suit against town of Dryden

* Unincorporated town amended zoning to bar gas drilling

* State department has recommended end to NY drilling ban

By Dan Wiessner

ALBANY, NY, Sept 19 (Reuters) - A lawsuit challenging a small town's ban on natural-gas drilling could have implications throughout New York state, where officials are poised to approve a controversial drilling method known as fracking.

Privately held Anschutz Exploration Corp filed suit on Friday against Dryden, a rural suburb of Ithaca with about 13,000 residents that last month amended its zoning laws to bar all gas drilling within its unincorporated borders.

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation has recommended ending a year-long ban on drilling in New York, although a public comment period on the rules was extended this month following concerns that fracking contaminates underground wells and aquifers.

The Anschutz suit, which asks the state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to invalidate the amendment, is the first to test the legal implications of the state's move.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves cracking open rocks deep underground with a blast of sand, water and chemicals to unleash natural gas and oil.

Anschutz, which controls more than 22,000 acres in Dryden, said New York's Environmental Conservation Law bars local governments from any regulation of drilling." More>>>>

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gold Firm Loses Lease

Albuquerque Journal North
Mark Oswald
Sept. 4, 2011

"A company with plans to mine for gold in the Ortiz Mountains southeast of Madrid says in a lawsuit that it has a better chance of getting the necessary approvals now that New Mexico has a governor with “a pro-business stance.” Also, the Albuquerque-based Santa Fe Gold Corp. says in a federal court complaint, Santa Fe County’s “politically liberal” population may be more willing to support mining operations these days, because of the jobs it could bring during the recession’s economic hard times.

But Santa Fe Gold Corp. has lost the lease to explore for and mine gold and other minerals on about 43,000 acres of the Ortiz Mine Grant.

On Tuesday, the mining company filed suit accusing mineral rights owner Ortiz Mines Inc., of Kansas of breach of contract.

The lawsuit also reveals that Santa Fe Gold – despite losing the lease – has already obtained a state “general mining permit” for preliminary work at the Ortiz Mountain site, issued Aug. 19.

The state Mining and Minerals Division provided a copy of the permit this week. It grants conditional approval for a year for a “mining disturbance” not to exceed two acres consisting of “collecting rock samples by hand and baseline environmental data collection.”

Santa Fe Gold obtained a seven-year mineral lease with Ortiz Mines in 2004 and made the deal public in 2008. Santa Fe Gold says in its lawsuit that it has made $753,224 in lease payments so far.

But Ortiz Mining served notice in June that it was terminating the lease, citing concerns about Santa Fe Gold’s effort to move the project forward."...

..."The suit goes on to note the current poor economy and record-high gold prices and says the “public fervor over Tecton’s plans to drill for oil and gas has largely abated.”

“While the population of Santa Fe County is politically liberal, current economic conditions make it more likely that public support can be generated for support of the Ortiz Project,” the suit states.

No county application"... More (subscription or trail pass required)>>>>

Friday, September 2, 2011

Energy Secretary signals green light likely for XL Pipeline


"U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is saying nice things about the controversial sand tar oil pipeline that TransCanada wants to run across the Nebraska Sandhills and over the Ogallala Aquifer.

It is a clear signal that the Obama administration is likely to let TransCanada build the XL Pipeline that would / will run from Alberta across several states to the Gulf Coast of Texas."


BP Can Deny It All They Want But That Looks Like Oil Again At Deepwater

Business Insider

"Somehow the fact BP hired 40 ships to lay booms around the growing slick at the Deepwater site slipped past most media attention early last week.

The Tallahassee Examiner reports that on top of the 40 Vessels of Opportunity hired to contain the renewed spill, BP assigned two of its own vessels to the location. The Helix Producer 1 is an oil production ship able to manage 45,000 barrels of oil a day, and the Helix Express carries an underwater construction vessel."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

U.S. to Slash Marcellus Shale Gas Estimate 80%


"The U.S. will slash its estimate of undiscovered Marcellus Shale natural gas by as much as 80 percent after a updated assessment by government geologists.

The formation, which stretches from New York to Tennessee, contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of gas, the U.S. Geological Survey said today in its first update in nine years. That supersedes an Energy Department projection of 410 trillion cubic feet, said Philip Budzik, an operations research analyst with the Energy Information Administration. Link

“We consider the USGS to be the experts in this matter,” Budzik said in an interview. “They’re geologists, we’re not. We’re going to be taking this number and using it in our model.”

The revised estimates, posted on the agency’s website, are likely to spur a debate over industry projections of the potential value of shale gas." More>>>>

Fracking might have caused Colorado/New Mexico Area Quakes

Listen at KSFR

"SANTA FE, Aug. 23 -- Following a succession of earthquakes near New Mexico's northern border, geology professor Rick Astor of New Mexico Tech says one possibility for the "swarm" of quakes in that area is the prevalance of energy drilling there.

He says faults inside the earth have stress and often can slip. "Earthquakes could be induced if the fault's frictional properties are altered by the injection of (fracking) fluids."'

Monday, August 15, 2011

60 Minutes: "A look at the world's new corporate tax havens"

60 Minutes
August 14, 2011

"(CBS News)

Our government is in knots over ways to lower the federal budget deficit. Well, what if we told you we found a pot of money - over $60 billion a year - that could be used to help out?

That bundle is tax money not coming in to the IRS from American corporations. One major way they avoid paying the tax man is by parking their profits overseas. They'll tell you they're forced to do that because the corporate 35 percent tax rate is high in relation to other countries, and indeed it seems the tax code actually encourages companies to move businesses out of the country.

Tax havens: Do companies pay their fair share?
"60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl talks tax havens and the new ways American companies are stashing their profits abroad.

Companies searching out tax havens is nothing new. In the 80s and 90s, there was an exodus to Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, where there are no taxes at all.

When President Obama threatened to clamp down on tax dodging, many companies decided to leave the Caribbean, but as we first told you in March, instead of coming back home, they went to safer havens like Switzerland.

Several of these companies came to a small, quaint medieval town in Switzerland called Zug.

Hans Marti, who heads Zug's economic development office, showed off the nearby snow-covered mountains. But Zug's main selling point isn't a view of the Alps: he told Lesley Stahl the taxes are somewhere between 15 and 16 percent.

"And in the United States it's 35 percent," Stahl pointed out.

"I know. It's half price," Marti said.

Marti told Stahl that Zug most probably has the lowest tax rates in Switzerland.

"So you're kind of a tax haven within a tax haven?" she remarked.

"Maybe, yes," he acknowledged.

The population of the town of Zug is 26,000; the number of companies in the area is 30,000 and growing at an average rate of 800 a year. But many are no more than mailboxes.

Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett questions whether the recent moves of several companies are legit. "A good example is one of my Texas companies that's been in the news lately, Transocean," Rep. Doggett told Stahl.

Transocean owned the drilling rig involved in the giant BP oil spill. They moved to Zug two years ago.

Extra: Benefits of bringing back cash
Extra: How to shift profits

"I'm not sure they even moved that much. They have about 1,300 employees still in the Houston area. They have 12 or 13 in Switzerland," Doggett told Stahl.

"And yet they claim that they're headquartered over there," Stahl remarked.

"They claim they're Swiss. And they claim they're Swiss for tax purposes. And by doing that, by renouncing their American citizenship, they've saved about $2 billion in taxes," Doggett explained.

Stahl and "60 Minutes" decided to visit their operations in Zug.

A woman at the door told Stahl, "At the moment my boss is not here."

She said her boss wasn't there and we should call someone halfway around the world, in Houston.

"But this is the headquarters," Stahl remarked.

"I know," the woman said.

When asked if the CEO was there or is normally at the Zug office, the woman said "No."'

Produced by Shachar Bar-On


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gas Fracking Poses Serious Environmental Risks, U.S. Panel Finds


"Natural-gas companies risk causing serious environmental damage from hydraulic fracturing unless they commit to the best engineering practices, a task force named by Energy Secretary Steven Chu concluded.

Regulations to protect public health will work best when drillers embrace techniques that avoid “undesirable consequences,” according to a draft report today by a subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. The increased use of fracturing, or fracking, which forces water and chemicals into rock, raises the potential for a “serious problem,” the panel found.

The report offered recommendations for companies involved in fracking, such as Chesapeake Energy Inc. and Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN), to follow, and guidelines for state regulators that oversee drilling.

“While many states and several federal agencies regulate aspects of these operations, the efficacy of the regulations is far from clear,” according to the report. “Effective action requires both strong regulation and a shale-gas industry in which all participating companies are committed to continuous improvement.”

The Environmental Working Group in Washington, which advocates for clean air and water, questioned the findings of a panel it said was dominated by the gas industry. The Independent Petroleum Association of America in Washington, which represents oil and gas companies, said the report marks “a useful starting point,” for discussions." More>>>>Link