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Frack That Noise!

May 4, 2012

We’ve got good news and bad news. First the good news:

The Obama administration on Friday issued a proposed rule governing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on public lands that will for the first time require disclosure of the chemicals used in the process. (NYT)

So that’s great, right? Considering the threats to public health posed by groundwater contamination, it’s crucial that these potentially dangerous chemicals be disclosed. Score one for public health and the environment! Wait a sec…not so fast…now for the bad news:

But in a significant concession to the oil industry, companies will have to reveal the composition of fluids only after they have completed drilling, not before — a sharp change from the government’s original proposal, which would have required disclosure of the chemicals 30 days before a well could be started.  (NYT)

Got that? The BLM is going to require gas companies to disclose what they pump into the land, but not until after they’ve completed drilling. Sure. That makes perfect sense. “Here, I’m just gonna stick this hypodermic needle into you — but don’t worry — I’m gonna to tell you what’s in…later on.”

If you’re asking yourself how the heck the administration could have ever arrived at such a lame-brained “plan”, this is actually the worst part:

the “weakening” of the rule happened after a series of meetings at the White House. Oil and gas representatives, from companies such as ExxonMobil, XTO Energy, Apache, Samson Resources and Anadarko Petroleum, met with officials from the Office of Management and Budget, “who reworked the rule to address industry concerns about overlapping state regulations and the cost of compliance,” the paper reports.

Landowners contend that fracking has been found to contaminate ground water. (One Pennsylvania resident entertains reporters by setting afire the stuff that comes out of his faucet.) But industry officials objected to the original rules, saying they would slow production.  (Daily Yonder – emphasis mine)

That’s right: Big Oil & Gas can’t be bothered with cumbersome regulation for pointless things like public health. Don’t agree? Well, the Obama administration certainly does.

Clearly, the need for natural gas out-weighs petty concerns about safety: 90% of all new wells on public lands are fracking.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 5, 2012 10:22 am

    Thanks so much for this piece, living in NY I see the oil companies drooling at the chance to “Frack” us where we breathe (and drink), and I am tired of having to explain that Mr. Obama is far from being a Liberal (as a Liberal I am offended by that), let alone Socialist. In any case, thanks again and keep these great blog posts coming, I am a huge fan!!!

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