Is Strong Regulation an Acceptable Cost for Natural Gas via Shale Fracking?

by Duane Nichols on July 18, 2011

David Zetland has recently written an article published in the Petroleum Economist on July 11th that explores the issue of whether fracking companies should accept the costs of strong regulation.  If so, this could lay the foundation for a viable gas and oil industry world-wide, for the long-term.  The French government has banned fracking and many other small governmental entities are looking at the diverse impacts to communities and the environment.

This article says that fracking will deliver more natural gas, at cheaper prices, from more-reliable parts of the world.  The industry should embrace and promote useful regulation as an acceptable cost of doing business.  The alternative – weak regulation, or industry opposition to clean fracking procedures – is more likely to destroy the industry than increase profits.

David Zetland is a senior water economist at Wageningen University, Netherlands.  He is the author of the book “The End of Abundance: economic solutions to water scarcity.”  He frequently blogs at

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