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Reflections on A Market Approach to Regulating the Energy Revolution

August 2015

Citation: ELR 10760

Author: Tom FitzGerald

As a practitioner who has represented low-income individuals and community groups pro bono on environmental and energy development issues for over three decades, I appreciate the contribution of Professors Dana and Wiseman to the literature concerning the regulation of those particular risks and effects of the use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to develop shale gas and oil from formations once considered inaccessible. I agree with the authors that, if engaged, the surety and insurance industry could become valuable partners in assisting in the mitigation of risks associated with hydrofractured horizontal well production. But there are three main difficulties I see in the proposal to use insurance and surety mechanisms as a tool for mitigating risks.

Tom FitzGerald is the Director of the Kentucky Resources Council Inc., and is an Adjunct Professor of Energy and Environmental Law at the Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky. These reflections are the author’s own and are not presented in either of his professional capacities.

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