Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced today that it has been awarded a 3-year, $6-million grant for its work to minimize the environmental impacts of natural gas operations through hydraulic fracturing. The funding will support EDF’s strategy of securing strong rules and developing industry best practices in the 14 states with 85 percent of the country’s unconventional gas reserves. The grant was awarded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, a recognized leader in global environmental efforts.
“Here’s the truth on natural gas. The environmentalists who oppose all fracking are wrong, and the drillers who claim that regulation will kill the industry are wrong. What we need to do is make sure that the gas is extracted carefully and in the right places, and that has to be done through strong, responsible regulation. And that’s what our work with EDF is all about,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City.
“EDF is grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for its generous support, and to the Mayor for his extraordinary leadership in defining the correlation between a clean environment and a healthy public,” said EDF President Fred Krupp. “Our work is dedicated to both of those imperatives. No one should be forced to trade their children’s health or their quality of life for cheap energy. There is a path forward for natural gas production if we get it right — but that’s a big if. The Mayor is helping to chart that path forward. Industry leaders are also realizing that the environmental impacts of shale gas production are real and must be addressed in order to restore public trust.”
This grant builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ recent $50 million commitment to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign to reduce the number of coal-fired power plants in the U.S. The grant will ensure that EDF has a significant impact on natural gas regulation in the states at the heart of the shale gas boom, where it is critical that we get the rules right. Over the next few years, success in those states will determine whether we can count on shale gas as a safe alternative to coal — one that reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well as other air pollution.
EDF will work to ensure stronger state regulation of natural gas operations in five key areas:
- Disclosing all chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process, as well as chemicals used in drilling and operating wells, and requiring measurement and reporting of air emissions and the content of waste water;
- Optimizing rules for well construction and operation;
- Minimizing water consumption, protecting groundwater and ensuring proper disposal of wastewater;
- Improving air pollution controls, including capturing fugitive methane, a potent greenhouse gas;
- Reducing impacts to communities and ecosystems.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is actively involved in environmental issues around the world, including a $50 million partnership with the Sierra Club on the Beyond Coal Campaign, and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, where Mayor Bloomberg serves as Chair.
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