The Natural Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board has published its 90-day interim report on "Improving the Safety and Environmental Performance of Hydraulic Fracturing." There is an important observation about the political dynamics of shale gas development:
The Subcommittee has been struck by the enormous difference in perception about the consequences of shale gas activities. Advocates state that fracturing has been performed safely without significant incident for over 60 years, although modern shale gas fracturing of two-mile long laterals has only been done for something less than a decade. Opponents point to failures and accidents and other environmental impacts, but these incidents are typically unrelated to hydraulic fracturing per se and sometimes lack supporting data about the relationship of shale gas development to incidence and consequences. . .