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API publishes community-level fracking guidelines

API wants two-way conversation on controversial drilling practice.

By
Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- The American Petroleum Institute released its first-ever set of guidelines aimed at directing community engagement where hydraulic fracturing is planned.

"API's community engagement guidelines will serve as a gold standard for good neighbor policies that address community concerns, enhance the long-term benefits of local development, and ensure a two-way conversation regarding mutual goals for community growth," API Director of Standards David Miller said in a statement Wednesday.

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Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are two technologies used to produce oil and natural gas from shale deposits. Shale exploitation has led to exponential gains in U.S. oil and gas production, though the drilling processes, dubbed fracking, have been met with opposition from those concerned about the environmental drawbacks.

API said its new standards provide guidelines on how to conduct public meetings on safety and prepare communities for energy exploration in order to minimize interruptions.

API represents the business interests of more than 600 oil and natural gas companies.

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