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EPA Chief Says Feds Won't Let Fracking "Screw Up" Ground Water

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EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (L) testifies at a Congressional hearing in May, 2011.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson says the benefits of natural gas development should not outweigh environmental risks. Jackson appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last week. Maddow asked Jackson whether the shale gas drilling needed more regulations, and if so, whether the EPA could handle the enforcement. Jackson acknowledged the immediate environmental benefits of natural gas over coal-fired power plants.
But when it comes to the drilling process, Jackson says, “we’re not going to screw up your drinking water and ground water.”
Jackson also said there needs to be “standards” in the rules for state’s currently regulating fracking. The EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection have been at odds over regulating shale gas drilling. And natural gas drilling is currently exempt from several federal statutes including the Clean Air Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. As the EPA conducts its own study of fracking on drinking water supplies, states like Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia are working to update their own rules. DEP Secretary Michael Krancer recently testified at a Congressional hearing that states are better equipped to regulate fracking. For Maddow’s full interview with Lisa Jackson, click here.

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