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Nat Gas Boom Brings Environmental Concerns
CNBC.com | March 06, 2012 | 08:56 AM EST

The shale gas energy industry needs to put in place better practices and reporting about " fracking " before public concerns delay or even stop use of the technology that has created a boom in U.S. natural gas production , according to the MIT professor who led President Obama's subcommittee on shale gas.

John Deutch, also former DOE director of energy research, in the Carter Administration, told a gathering at the annual CERAWeek energy conference Monday night that the shale gas revolution is the most important development in the North American oil and gas industry in the 50 years he's been involved with it.

"I want to stress the tremendous benefits that will come to all Americans if we do this in the right way," he said. If the environmental impacts are not addressed , there is a "very real" chance the industry could be "delayed or even stopped because of public concerns."

Some industry experts at the conference portrayed an industry benefiting from technology faster than regulators can keep up with it. There is now shale gas production in 32 states, and about a third of U.S. natural gas comes from shale, up from just 2 percent in 2000, because of innovations made in fracking and horizontal drilling.

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