Energy regulators must operate independently of both industry and environmental groups, led only by facts and the rule of law, said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Hanger, who leaves office this month after a tenure of more than two years during which activity in the state's Marcellus Shale mushroomed.

"When regulators do their jobs well in any industry, they're neither the friend nor the foe of the regulated community; they're not the partner of the regulated community and it's not their job, frankly, to be popular with the regulated community or with environmental groups or outside groups," Hanger told NGI's Shale Daily. "It's their job to actually implement decisions based on the facts and on the law. That's what we've been doing in Pennsylvania for two years and four months since I've been there.

"I think the best proof of that is that over that period of time we've made decisions that have pleased pretty much everybody at one time or another and we've made decisions that have pretty much displeased everybody at one time or another. We've followed the facts and tightened the rules because those rules were inadequate to the new Marcellus industry."

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