President Obama Issues Executive Order Creating Interagency Natural Gas Production Working Group
On April 13, President Obama issued an executive order establishing an interagency working group to facilitate coordination of the Administration’s policy efforts to support safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development.
The purpose of the working group will be to facilitate coordination among the federal agencies and executive departments involved in promoting the safe and responsible development of unconventional gas resources. The working group will engage in long-term planning and coordinate information-sharing, research, natural resource assessment, communication with stakeholders, and infrastructure development between the agencies. The order describes the need for this working group to “take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised.”
The working group will be chaired by the director of the Domestic Policy Council and will be comprised of representatives from: the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Economic Council.
APGA welcomes the Administration’s continued focus on natural gas and agrees that responsible development of our domestic natural gas reserves is of paramount importance. The creation of an interagency work group may have positive effects in that a streamlined approach to regulation could avoid the creation of overlapping or competing rules from multiple agencies. However, in order to ensure that the appropriate balance is struck between the need for domestic production and the need for environmental protection, robust engagement with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including industry, will be critical. APGA supports actions that will increase the development of natural gas resources on public lands.
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