One of the biggest problems with the surge in natural gas exploration in Arkansas is the failure of public officials to learn from other states. I've linked to many reports here about how officials in states like New York, Pennsylvania and Colorado seem to get it. Our legislature has rubber-stamped every bill the gas industry wanted to see put into law.
Yesterday, a friend passed along this article from the Denver Post. It was written by a former oil and gas exec who says regulations on the industry are necessary. Big takeaway: it's only extremely profitable if you don't count the costs. Arkansas lawmakers should take note.
The pace of oil and gas operations has largely sidestepped the environmental protections adopted by other industries over the past 40 years. No one would suggest we can revive the auto industry by eliminating air bags or catalytic converters and going back to leaded gasoline. No one thinks we should stimulate the housing industry by canceling modern safety and environmental standards. Yet some suggest that protections recently adopted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission be delayed or dropped. This would be an historic mistake.