Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fracking Regulation Becomes Sticking Point With Frackers, States and Feds

By Duane Craig

Fracking is an environmental risk?
Disagreement seems to be brewing among companies involved in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, over how much information about the chemicals used in the process should be revealed to the public.
According to a report in Reuters, the head of Chevron’s North American efforts said recently that companies involved in fracking haven’t been forthcoming quickly enough. Another report in Engineering News highlighted the fact that both Chevron and Exxon shareholders have been pressuring those companies to come clean on the environmental risks associated with the fracking process. But, Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s CEO said he thinks they’ve been moving toward disclosure very quickly.

Fracking Regulation

Meanwhile, according to a report in Bloomberg, the contentious issue of regulating the fracking industry from the federal level continues to hang in limbo. The industry has enjoyed a period of little regulation but as calls for more oversight heat up it is warming more to state oversight as opposed to federal oversight. Exxon’s CEO said as much in late May while Texas’ Railroad Commission chief agreed saying the states were in a better position to regulate the activities of companies involved in hydraulic fracturing.

Opponents claim the state efforts to date haven’t gone far enough and have left loopholes, while others bristle at the industry-heavy memberships on task forces and oversight committees that are supposed to sort out the issues and even write the rules. Creative opposition has also sprung up in video on the Internet.

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