The Shale Gas Subcommittee of the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board is charged with identifying measures to reduce the environmental impact and assure the safety of shale gas production.  Its initial Report made 20 recommendations and a second Report focused on implementing them.  In addition to recommendations for federal and state agencies, the Subcommittee identified the need for new partnerships and mechanisms for success and for industry to “organize for best practice.”

The Shale Gas Roundtable is created by a group of Southwestern Pennsylvania civic, academic and governmental leaders to improve unconventional oil and gas production, transport, and use in 10 counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.


Building on the recommendations of the Subcommittee and the Roundtable, a working group of philanthropies, environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and shale gas operators establish The Institute for Gas Drilling Excellence to identify agreed-upon best practices in shale development in the Appalachian Basin.


The organization adopts the name Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD).

After almost a year of concerted effort, the participants in CSSD release 15 Performance Standards to address risks to surface and groundwater, air, and the climate associated with shale gas extraction and production.

CSSD establishes an independent, third-party evaluation and verification process to measure and certify that operator management and field operations conform to the Performance Standards.


CSSD names Susan Packard LeGros its first full-time President and Executive Director.

Chevron earns full certification for all Performance Standards.


Shell and CONSOL earn full certification for all Performance Standards.

The board approves a five-year strategic plan that calls for expanding the coalition of supporters, certifying more companies, strengthening the standards, and renaming and branding the organization.


EQT earns full certification for all Performance Standards.

The organization adopts the name Center for Responsible Shale Development to better reflect its mission and enhanced stakeholder engagement.