At the 2012 Group of Eight (G8) Summit held this week in Camp David, energy held a prominent place on the world leaders’ agenda.
IPAA educated on the role of shale as a “global game changer” in G8: Camp David 2012, the official publication of the G8 Research Group that was distributed to heads of state, CEOs, financial institutions, and government representatives at the summit. IPAA highlighted how natural gas is a low-cost, abundant fuel that is pivotal for countries’ energy portfolios in the decades ahead. IPAA also demonstrated how the industry’s safe, game-changing completion process of hydraulic fracturing is playing an unparalleled role in creating jobs, enhancing energy security, and boosting economies of nations around the world.
“Despite speculation and propaganda, hydraulic fracturing is a proven-safe technology. In fact, out of the 1.2 million wells that have been fractured in the U.S., not a single case of groundwater contamination has ever been proven as a result of hydraulic fracturing. A study from the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin reaffirmed this fact in February 2012. The study found “no evidence” of hydraulic fracturing ever leading to groundwater contamination.
“Like any other industrial process, industry is aware of the need for continual advancement to ensure the safety of the environment in communities where development is taking place. From preliminary testing of the area via seismic data to restoration of the completed well site, industry places safety and the environment as a top priority in development. Industry has stepped up to voluntary disclose chemicals used in over 11,410 wells across the United States. Safety, efficiency, water conservation, wellbore integrity, and environmental protection are key chapters in development.”
The feature also highlighted shale plays around the world – from European Union to China to South America. The proven benefits of development to the United States’ economy and job creation were also demonstrated.
IPAA concluded by discussing how natural gas from shale is an area which leaders from the different countries can and should work together to promote.
“The development of natural gas from shale presents an opportunity for global leaders to work together and provide our growing world with the energy it needs to expand, advance, and progress. From the Lower Saxony in Germany, to the Eagle Ford in Texas, across to the Cooper Basin in Australia, shale plays around the globe are redefining our world’s energy potential and providing countless economic benefits for local, federal, and global economies.”
This was a great opportunity for IPAA to advocate the amazing benefits of developing oil and natural gas from shale to an international audience. Please click here to see the full feature, which was circulated to more than 12,000 international policymakers. At the summit, the leaders released a 40-point declaration, in which the G8 leaders voiced their commitment to sharing best practices for energy production, particularly related to the technologies of hydraulic fracturing and deep water drilling.
Another energy issue brought up did not have a consensus as common-sense – tapping the strategic petroleum reserve. Last year, amid rising gasoline prices, President Obama used the Libyan crisis to justify tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. IPAA responded that the administration’s action was “not a solution, yet another decision that will only prolong the nation’s vulnerability to swings in oil prices. Drilling for more oil at home will not only increase American oil supply, but will also create jobs and increase government revenues through taxes and royalties. Releasing oil from our strategic reserves cannot accomplish these other important goals.”
Now, with President Obama’s likely support, that option is on the table once again – this time in an election year for the president. In response to the volatility of world oil markets, G8 leaders agreed to “stand ready to call upon the International Energy Agency” to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Again, IPAA has long argued that tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a political play rather than a practical response to world supply disruptions. Instead of this knee-jerk reaction, the U.S. should spearhead a national energy policy that encourages production of American oil reserves by increasing access to federal lands and eliminating regulations that serve only as unnecessary red-tape.
For more information on energy at the G8 summit, read the White House’s fact sheet on G-8 Action on Energy and Climate Change.