Reasonable regulation of oil and natural gas development and production is necessary, as it provides affordable energy today while preserving the environment and natural resources for future generations. Because geographic conditions vary across the country, state-level regulations are most appropriate to determine the best ways to develop oil and natural gas basins.
However, when local county or city regulations are created with the intent of overriding a state’s authority, the resulting patchwork of rules can be confusing and expensive and prohibitive for industry to adopt. Anti-oil and natural gas activists know this. That’s why they are attempting to drive decision making over industry to the local level (“local control”) by encouraging voters to support ballot initiatives designed to halt or ban operations. In doing so, they aim to challenge state jurisdiction – or “primacy” – over oil and natural gas development.
Environmental health and surface impacts in areas of oil and natural gas development are common concerns. In reality, existing regulations and ongoing technological improvements in the industry are improving national air quality and reducing our environmental footprint. U.S. carbon emissions have decreased by nearly 10 percent since 2005, due in part to the increased generation of electricity from natural gas produced through hydraulic fracturing. As the use of natural gas increased from 19 to 28 percent of the national total between 2005 and 2014, coal use simultaneously declined by more than 10 percent. Chevron encourages local engagement and relationships with communities, regulatory authorities, as well as our surface and mineral owners to address concerns and share information about oil and natural gas development. Rather than ban fracking, we can work together to provide safe, affordable energy under reasonable state regulations.