Obama Administration Unveils New Restrictive Fracking Rules
America gets fracked again in favor of green energy.
The Obama administration said Friday it is tightening rules on fracking with regulations that it says will preserve the oil and gas extraction method while protecting water supplies and the environment.
The new rules, which take effect in June, require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing and to build large barriers to shield nearby water sources.
Environmental groups complimented the new rules on fracking, though some said the administration should simply ban the practice.
Members and supporters of the oil and gas industries denounced the new regulations and said they will damage a booming energy industry. Some immediately filed suit against the administration.
In announcing the new rules, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said current well-drilling regulations are more than 30 years old, “and they simply have not kept pace with the technical complexities of today’s hydraulic fracturing operations.”
The new rules provide “a framework of safeguards and disclosure protocols that will allow for the continued responsible development of our federal oil and gas resources,” Jewell said.
Industry groups immediately filed suit against the new regulations, calling them an overreaction to unsubstantiated environmental concerns about fracking.
“At a time when the oil and natural gas industry faces incredible cost uncertainties, these so-called baseline standards will threaten America’s economic upturn, while further deterring energy development on federal lands,” said Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Republican members of Congress also denounced the new regs. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said they “represent yet another attack on American jobs by President Obama, and continue his attack on American-made energy.”[..]
Dan Chu, senior director for the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America Campaign, said the new rules “represent important progress,” but “the only true way to protect communities from fracking is to not frack at all.”
Said Chu: “Even as the Obama administration works to lessen the harmful consequences of current development, they can advance the clean energy growth noted by Secretary Jewell, reduce the climate impact of new mining and drilling and protect public lands by making sure dirty fuels stay in the ground.”