John Deutch, director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1995-96 and now chairman of an advisory board to the U.S. DOE, urged the oil and gas industry "get more proactive" regarding environmental issues related to energy production. He made his comments at the IHS/CERAWeek energy conference in Houston this morning as part of a panel on shale gas and the environment. "The industry has to be much more aggressive" meeting community and government concerns about air and water impacts from hydraulic fracturing, he said, not just responding to regulation "but showing in practice that they can achieve environmental results."
Otherwise, Deutch said, the future of shale oil and gas production "is in doubt" as cities and states consider restrictions and bans on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In Colorado, environmental groups are working to put a referendum on the ballot to ban fracking, a move Deutch said "will be an absolute catastrophe for this great technology." Deutch is currently professor emeritus at MIT and has served a number of federal government positions in the Department of Energy and Department of Defense.