"America's Natural Gas Alliance members are committed to practicing good stewardship of the land and environment every day as they produce this clean, domestic energy source.
"We welcome serious, fact-based scientific inquiries into how we do our work. Upon initial review, however, this study lacks key data that would be needed to validate its conclusions.
"It is a widely accepted scientific fact that pockets of thermogenic gas occur naturally in the geology of the Marcellus Shale region. It is equally well-understood that this naturally occurring methane is released into the local environment-with or without natural gas production in the surrounding area.
"Consistent with these facts, the authors found thermogenic methane in some places where there is natural gas production. They also found thermogenic methane in areas where there is no natural gas production. So the study appears to validate this important and often misunderstood point: The existence of methane in the environment is often due to naturally occurring geological phenomena that has no relation to natural gas development.
``We respectfully raise several questions about the study's methodology choices:
In addition the study contained no baseline data, so it was impossible to determine what the methane levels were in active areas before natural gas activities began. It is also important to note that the study showed no indication of hydraulic fracturing fluids in the water samples.
``We support scientific analysis associated with the production of natural gas. And, we support informed debate about the risks and benefits of all of our energy choices as a nation. This study, however, provides insufficient data to support the claims it asserts. As such, it does not change the bottom-line fact that natural gas can be and is developed in a safe and responsible manner and is an abundant and readily available domestic source of cleaner energy that can promote U.S. energy security, advance clean air and create American jobs.'