Obama backs shale gas drilling

(Source: Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged support for the U.S. shale gas boom, but said government must focus on safe development of the energy resource.

In his State of the Union address, Obama called for government to develop a roadmap for responsible shale gas production and said his administration would move forward with “common-sense” new rules to make sure drillers protect the public.

“America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk,” Obama said.

Obama’s proposals on natural gas were similar to previous administration comments, and would do little to satisfy oil and gas industry backers who argue that the federal government needs to stay out of the way of burgeoning shale development.

Some industry groups had hoped Obama might streamline government oversight or offer specific plans to increase access for oil and gas drilling.

Instead, Obama pressed again for ending tax breaks for the oil and gas industry in his speech, something he has pushed for repeatedly without success.

The American Petroleum Institute, the top oil and gas lobbying group, said the policies Obama promoted in his speech are at odds with expanding energy output.

Full Story: Obama backs shale gas drilling

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