Report

Pathways to Dialogue: What the Experts Say about the Environmental Risks of Shale Gas Development

Feb 7, 2013 | Alan J. Krupnick, Hal Gordon, Sheila M. Olmstead

Summary

This survey of experts from government agencies, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations identifies the priority environmental risks related to shale gas development—those for which the experts believe government regulation and/or voluntary industry practices are currently inadequate to protect the public or the environment.

A new report from scholars in RFF’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy, Pathways to Dialogue: What the Experts Say about the Environmental Risks of Development, is the first survey-based, statistical analysis of experts from government agencies, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to identify the priority environmental risks related to shale gas development—those for which the experts believe government regulation and/or voluntary industry practices are currently inadequate to protect the public or the environment.

A key finding is the high degree of consensus among experts—survey respondents from the four different expert groups—about the specific risks most frequently identified as priorities for further regulatory or voluntary action.

These “pathways to dialogue” can provide industry leaders, policymakers, and the public with a firm starting place for further dialogue in balancing the benefits and risks of shale gas development.