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Federal Government Expected to Unveil Fracking Regulations For Public Lands Soon


A natural gas drilling rig outside Rifle, Colorado.

The Obama Administration is expected to release new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on public lands soon.
Reuters reports Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee last week the Department of Interior is “very close” to releasing the new rules:

“The fracking rules are not bowing to industry pressure or environmental pressure,” Jewell told reporters after her first hearing since assuming the top post at Interior in April.
Jewell said the proposed regulations would use the “best science” and take into account modern technologies and practices. The former oil company engineer noted that she had “fracked a well before.”
The initial draft rules included new reporting standards and a requirement that companies reveal chemicals they use in fracking only after they complete drilling.

This is the second version of the rules. Last year’s draft regulations drew ire from environmental groups who said they didn’t go far enough, and from industry groups, who said they were too harsh, according to the National Journal:

The proposed regulation is expected to be more lenient to the oil and gas industry than a draft rule issued last year by the Interior Department, reflecting heavy lobbying by fossil fuel companies, as well as President Obama’s desire to support the nation’s recent boom in natural gas development—and the jobs that come with it.
“We have observed that over the past few years, the administration has shifted toward a more favorable opinion of the value of natural gas to the economy and the nation’s energy security,” said Richard Ranger, a senior policy adviser at the American Petroleum Institute. “We think we’re being heard, but the proof will be in the pudding.”


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