Federal Agencies Threaten Fracking

12/6/13
 
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from NCPA,
12/6/13:

Two federal agencies are threatening to regulate fracking, says Nicolas Loris, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

Currently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of finalizing a rule that would impose stricter regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also looking closely at fracking, conducting a study on the impacts of the technique on groundwater.

The upcoming BLM regulations would establish minimum standards for chemical disclosure, well integrity and wastewater disposal. But the states already have regulations to deal with these concerns.

The EPA is expected to release its drinking water report in 2014, which will be available for public comment.

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas is sponsoring H.R. 2850, the EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study Improvement Act. The law would require the EPA’s report to undergo a rigorous peer review and require “objective estimates of the probability, uncertainty, and consequence of each identified impact, factoring in the risk management practices of states and industry.” H.R. 2850 would make it more difficult to use the fracking report for political purposes.

New federal fracking regulations are unnecessary (as the states have already proven themselves capable of regulating the process) and would only drive up costs, limiting the ability of states to manage their own resources. States should be given more control over the federal lands in their states.

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