Shale natural gas has been emerging as a key piece of America's energy mix, with companies discovering vast new reserves of the energy source all over the country. Natural gas has traditionally been considered the cleanest fossil fuel, and President Obama and congressional leaders have signaled support for legislation incentivizing natural gas.
But a natural gas well explosion in Pennsylvania last week and a recent controversial report from Cornell University are triggering concerns about how clean and safe natural gas really is.
How should Congress react to the well explosion, which occurred during the hydraulic fracturing process? Should reports like the one from Cornell, which concluded that natural gas actually produces more greenhouse gas emissions than coal, have any bearing on policy-making decisions? What legislation, if any, should Congress pass to address these concerns? What can the administration do?