A Review of Shale Gas Regulations by State

Experts in RFF’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy analyzed 25 regulatory elements related to shale gas development in 31 states that have actual or potential development activity, offering the most comprehensive review of state shale gas regulations to date. This analysis is presented in a new RFF report, The State of State Shale Gas Regulation. The maps below (updated in May 2013) are a snapshot of the regulatory data from the report.

A key finding of the report is the regulatory heterogeneity among the states. States regulate different elements with different types of regulatory tools and varying levels of stringency. This heterogeneity does not necessarily mean some states lag while others lead; local conditions may justify very different rules. However, preliminary analysis in the report has revealed limited evidence of the sources of heterogeneity.

To create the maps below, RFF staff and outside experts reviewed state statutes, regulations, permitting guidelines, and other documents, along with independent reports. Experts and regulators in the states were also contacted to review the findings.

The maps show only uniform, state-level regulation in force as of March 1, 2013, except for New York, which is treated as if the proposed rules in its 2011 Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement were currently in place. Local and federal regulations are not included.

The maps provide an overview of the states’ regulations, the regulatory tools they use, and in some cases the stringency of regulations. They do not, however, authoritatively compile any given state’s regulations or fully analyze any specific regulation. Many of these regulations apply to the development of both conventional and unconventional (shale) gas, as many aspects of development are common.

The maps are divided into the following categories:

Site Selection and Preparation

Drilling the Well

Hydraulic Fracturing

Wastewater Storage and Disposal

Excess Gas Disposal

Severance Taxes

Well Plugging and Abandonment


View the map

Source: www.rff.org