Oil and gas development enjoys strong support

Natural gas is quickly becoming a popular source of energy, thanks to its falling price. Statistics show that natural gas provide almost a quarter of the energy consumed in the U.S. and heats approximately half of our homes. As new exploration and recovery techniques continue to improve, these numbers are likely to increase.

The same is true for domestic oil production. In just a few years, the U.S. has gone from importing large amounts of oil to producing the vast majority of what we use. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", is generally considered to be the cause.

But one often overlooked reason why oil and gas development is expected to continue is that it is popular. For example, a recent survey of registered voters in North Carolina found that most support increased oil and gas production in the U.S.

Ninety-one percent said oil and gas production could lead to more jobs in the U.S., while 90 percent said that it would benefit consumers through lower prices.

Polls of other states—particularly those that already have strong established oil industries—show similar results. In Alaska, for example, 94 percent of respondents believe that increased oil and natural gas production will lead to more jobs.

This is good news for the petrochemical industries as they expand. However, public opinion can shift, especially in the event of environmental incidents that necessitate large-scale soil or groundwater remediation.  To avoid this, energy companies must implement SPCC plans and take other appropriate safety precautions to prevent contamination. By working with environmental consultants, they can develop a road map to move forward.