Obama reiterates support for safe, sensible gas development

US President Barack Obama reiterated his support for developing natural gas resources with new technologies as long as it can be done safely and in an environmentally sound manner.

“This is something we should welcome,” he said in response to a question at a July 16 reelection campaign event in Cincinnati. “Not only are we blessed with incredible gas resources that are now accessible, but gas actually burns cleaner than other fuels, and is an ideal…energy source that we can potentially use for the next 100 years.”

Obama noted that some people or groups see a contradiction between environmental protection on one hand and economic development or energy production on the other. “The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of folks right now engaging in [hydraulic fracturing] who are doing it safely,” he said.

“The problem is that we haven’t established clear guidelines for how to do it safely, and informed the public so that neighbors know what’s going on and your family…can make sure that any industry operating in your area is being responsible,” the president continued.

He said his administration has decided to work with the oil and gas industry to develop best practices, and invest in basic research to ensure that development of new domestic gas resources is done safely and protects the public health.

“For responsible companies, they should be able to operate [and] make a profit, and we can all benefit and put people back to work,” Obama said. “But if you’re an irresponsible company that’s not doing it properly, we’re going to hold you to account. That’s how we should develop this incredible resource.”

If done properly, that could help change global energy politics and economically because it would make the US less dependent on overseas crude oil suppliers and the national economy less subject to gasoline price spikes, he maintained.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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