chevron and the environmental defense fund find common ground

February 12, 2013 – When Chevron Executive Vice President of Policy & Planning Rhonda Zygocki and Fred Krupp, president of the  Environmental Defense Fund, discussed issues related to energy and the economy at a Feb. 4 program at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, they shared more than the stage.

Rhonda Zygocki and Fred Krupp discussed how energy impacts the economy on Feb. 4 at the Commonwealth Club.

In an hour-long conversation hosted by the Commonwealth Club's Climate One program, Zygocki and Krupp took turns addressing the many ways in which energy impacts economic growth—and frequently found themselves on the same side of the issues.

Shale gas was a major topic of discussion, both because of its economic importance and its potential environmental impacts. Zygocki said that combining horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas from shale rock has "unleashed the greatest energy story in decades." Shale gas has caused a "fundamental shift in our energy landscape that has the potential to keep energy affordable, drive economic growth and lower greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come," Zygocki said.

Krupp agreed that "There's no question shale gas represents a big economic opportunity for this country" even as he also underlined the importance of environmental safety. Krupp expressed concern over "fugitive" methane emissions from shale gas production. But he praised Chevron for "leading on this issue" by participating in an Environmental Defense Fund methane study and using leak detection technology. "That is real cooperation," he said.

Chevron is working to address public concerns "issue by issue," Zygocki said. She covered Chevron's practices for protecting groundwater, disclosing chemicals and reducing fresh water use in shale gas wells. "We're always looking at new technology to make our work safer, less risky and more cost effective. Responsible operation of this extraordinary endowment is critical, and it is important to get it right."

In addition to shale gas, Zygocki and Krupp addressed a wide range of other issues, including California's new climate change regulations, energy efficiency and the future of transportation fuels.

You can hear the full discussion on this Commonwealth Club podcast.

Updated: February 2013