Fort Worth resident Deborah Rogers, who has been critical of natural gas drilling and the economics of shale gas production, has been named to a 21-member advisory committee to the Department of Interior. The group will "guide and oversee implementation of the United States Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative," which DOI describes on its website as "a voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenue reporting and build public trust for the governance of these activities." DOI said President Barack Obama committed the U.S. to the international effort in 2011. Advisory committee members include representatives from environmental organizations, academia and industry.
Rogers, in a prepared release, called the committee's work "a tremendous opportunity to address financial issues with respect to natural resource extraction in this country." She was a 2008-2011 member of an advisory council to the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, serves on the committee that advised the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as it located air monitors in the Barnett Shale, and is a board member of Earthworks' Oil and Gas Accountability Project, according to the release. The release said she will appear in the upcoming documentary "Gasland 2"
In 2011 she founded Energy Policy Forum, "a consultancy and educational forum dedicated to policy and financial issues regarding shale gas and renewable energy." In an October blog post on her site, Rogers argued that shale gas is a money-loser driven by Wall Street. "There is no doubt that the investment banking community has been the driving force behind shale production since the economic downturn. Shale should have unravelled long before now. But Wall Street saw an opportunity to generate massive fees and so shale was taken to new heights... ." In 2009 she paid for air quality tests at her Westworth Village farm that showed elevated levels of several chemical compounds associated with natural gas production and flaring. The same year, which saw a sharp decline in the price of natural gas as supply surged, she concluded that shale gas wells "are depleting so quickly that the operators are in an expensive game of 'catch-up,' " according to an e-mail quoted in a New York Times report.