Well anything that would put the brakes on shale development would help underpin natural gas prices. Shale has created a permanent oversupply mindset and has convinced people that we will be awash in gas for many years. The oversupply created by shale was created astonishingly fast and this prolific supply source is hanging over this market(gas) like a giant dark cloud. The scarcity value of this commodity is permanently impaired by the ease of development of this resource. This condition has lead to a disconnect between gas and virtually every other commodity(even coal). We all know how cheap gas is to crude oil but shale has created a new paradigmn which threatens to make this a permanent condition. The efforts by the industry to create new demand for gas isn't a fix because it is a very long term solution. Line is in good shape nearterm, but this problem could be problematic down the road. Shale is beginning to look more like a curse than a blessing.
There is an economic headwind against this kind of legislation. The states in which you read the troublesome stories, especially Penn., need this industry. So, I suspect there will be no legislation or a compromise which allows the continued investigation of the shale plays. These shale plays like coal are in politically sensitive states.
In the present Washington political structure, don't get too upset about legislation that comes out of the House. It's far more extreme on both sides of the equation. Watch the Senate. It's almost impossible to get any kind of controversial legislation out of the Senate. The Senate has almost become a dysfunctional body. It's arcane rules which give significant power to the minority make it possible to delay or kill legislation. These shale plays are not just in Republican Texas, but in states with Democratic senators.
Others on this board can explain it better. It seams that the process of releasing NG from shale involves injecting chimicals during the fracturing process. There is concern that these chemicals can have a negative impact on the ground water. The NG drilling companies refuse to explain as to what chemicles are being used as they are propritory I did see a news segment where ignited natural gas was coming out of a home's fawcet. I don't believe this had anything to do with the chemicals, it was just NG.