The Global Shale Gas Initiative: Will the United States Be the Role Model for the Development of Shale Gas Around the World?
49 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2011 Last revised: 12 Apr 2015
Date Written: 2011
This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal, policy, and environmental challenges associated with the development of shale gas in the United States through the lens of the Global Shale Gas Initiative (GSGI) which was launched by the U.S. Department of State in April 2010 as part of an effort to promote global energy security and climate security around the world. Recognizing that shale gas development in the U.S. had been a “terrific boon” that many countries would want to replicate, the GSGI seeks to share information about the “umbrella of laws and regulations” that exist in the United States to ensure that shale gas development is “done safely and efficiently.”
Part I of this article discusses the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology that is crucial to shale gas development. Part II highlights the prevailing view that shale gas is an “energy game changer” that could dramatically impact global energy supplies, energy security, climate change mitigation, and geopolitics. Part III discusses the GSGI as well as other U.S. efforts and initiatives to help countries around the world develop their own shale gas resources. Part IV addresses the various environmental concerns that have been raised related to the development of shale gas in the United States. Part V discusses the federal and state laws and regulations affecting shale gas development in the United States, including an analysis of proposed legislation to further regulate the industry and a recent EPA study on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing on underground sources of drinking water (USDW).
Keywords: Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, Global Shale Gas Initiative (GSGI), Energy Security, Climate Security, Environmental Impacts, EPA, Underground Sources of Drinking Water (USDW)
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