Monday, April 27, 2009

Balancing Business and Regulation

Last week, the Shreveport Times published an editorial discussing the need to balance the business of drilling for gas in the Haynesville Shale with the need for the process to be respectful to the surface uses.

While the Haynesville Play is certainly a huge windfall to NE Louisiana and East Texas, its development needs to be balanced with its potential impacts. The issues of groundwater usage, noise, road wear and tear, etc. are beginning to appear. The state and local regulatory bodies need to balance the economic benefits with the orderly removal of the resources.

The chaotic land grab that characterized the leasing of the play must not be replicated in the production phase. The quickest way to kill the golden goose is to let it smother itself. The gas isn't going away. Lest people run around shouting that excessive regulation is going to run off production companies, I think the last line of the editorial says it best: "One area government official recounts a threat that too many government restrictions could lead one exploration company to leave a parish altogether. How that company would take the Haynesville Shale with them was uncertain."

Patience and foresight should rule the process, not greed and speed.

No comments: