Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment

Washington, D.C. -- On Wednesday, a coalition of energy companies, environmentalists and Pennsylvania philanthropies created a new center that reportedly provides more stringent standards for fracking of natural gas in parts of the eastern United States.

The new Center for Sustainable Shale Development aims to set high operational standards for companies in the Marcellus Shale formation to boost water, air quality and climate protections by using independent auditors to certify companies seeking the center's seal of approval meet the center's standards.

In response, Deb Nardone, Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas Campaign Director, issued the following statement:

"We know that our continued reliance on dirty, dangerous fossil fuels, like natural gas, will not solve the climate crisis, even with the best controls in place. The majority of natural gas must stay in the ground if we want any chance of avoiding climate disaster.

"Currently, the industry operates with significant loopholes from federal and state public health protections.This initiative, with which the Sierra Club had no involvement, provides only voluntary standards for the gas industry to meet. Voluntary certification is in no way a substitute for rigorous safeguards, monitoring, and enforcement. Voluntary safety certification is akin to slapping a band aid on a gaping wound. We know the oil and gas industry cannot be trusted to police itself and we cannot afford to give a free pass to bad actors in the industry."

Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment -