Five months ago, the stars were looking aligned for this year's climate summit in Paris. The US and China, the world's largest carbon polluters, had just signed a historic action plan to curb their emissions.
The statement that fracking is safe is at this point a political statement, reflective of a policy agenda that promotes full-scale exploitation of fossil fuels and propounds that it is wise to continue to propel the current global economic paradigm with finite energy sources.
If each state adopts its own unique set of shale gas regulations, a regulatory race to the bottom is possible. However, if the federal government adopts rigid regulations, America's shale gas boom may prove to be more environmentally friendly.