Michael Levi

Director, Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign

An excerpt from Washington Post Live’s recent Smart Energy conference.

A lot of what engenders opposition and backlash [to making shale gas or other things work in communities] has nothing to do with the traditional environmental discussion. It’s about integrating these efforts into the communities. It’s about making sure that there is community-college training so that local people can work on these jobs rather than having to import labor from Texas. It’s about making sure the zoning is handled properly so you don’t have people driving people around 24 hours a day for several weeks disturbing folks in the neighborhood. It’s about resolving property rights so that someone can drill under your property and have someone else own the mineral rights to what’s happening.

And those things won’t be resolved at the federal level, and they won’t be resolved by getting environmental regulation right. So, getting that regulation right is critical, but it’s not enough to actually make this stick and to prevent a real push-back from the communities.