John R. Hanger, Special Counsel to Eckert Seamans and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, attended and spoke at the World Energy Outlook workshop in Warsaw, Poland on March 7. The workshop, organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and hosted by the Polish Ministry of Economy and Mexican Ministry of Energy, brought together high-level experts in the energy industry and policymaking from across the globe to discuss the prospects for unconventional natural gas in light of its environmental impact.
Hanger, a nationally recognized expert on environment, energy, gas drilling and green economy issues, joined with IEA workshop participants to discuss a wide range of unconventional natural gas issues, including environmental risks, best practices for mitigating such risks, the impact of regulatory and environmental policies and finally, the role of unconventional gas in the world’s future energy system.
The energy regulations Hanger legislated during his tenure as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection were of great interest to the international community of energy industry stakeholders. These regulations include the withdrawal and use of water in drilling, disposal of waste water, rules on the design of gas wells including materials, design, processes and the protection of rivers and streams using buffer zone rules. Hanger also discussed how he managed staffing of these operations. International government officials and representatives from leading energy companies, such as Shell, Chevron and Anadarko, as well as from major environmental organizations were in attendance.
The findings of the workshop will be reported in the World Energy Outlook supplement titled “Golden Rules for Unconventional Gas Prospects,” to be released in late May. Hanger will assist the IEA with the publication by reviewing drafts and providing comments.
Hanger’s influence has also impacted areas as close as North Carolina and as far as Ireland. North Carolina’s Governor Bev Perdue recently met with Hanger to discuss shale exploration.
His expertise also caught the attention of Ireland’s Minister of Energy, who requested Hanger’s insights on energy supply and demand and the future of energy security, environmental protection and economic development.