Editorial: New DOI regulation makes fracking a safer practice

"There is little doubt that natural gas, which is plentiful and cleaner than coal, could help with the country’s energy and climate problems. But as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar once warned, the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing could be natural gas’s Achilles’ heel unless the public can be sure it will not pollute water supplies or the air.

Hydraulic fracturing, combined with deep horizontal drilling, has been largely responsible for a huge surge in the production of natural gas. It has also been blamed for poisoned wells and dirty air.

Last Friday, Mr. Salazar proposed new rules governing drilling on more than 700 million acres of federal and Indian lands that his department oversees. They cover safety issues now regulated with varying degrees of strictness by the states: the casing, or lining, of wells to prevent contamination of aquifers and groundwater; the safe disposal of contaminated water that emerges from every well; and disclosure of the chemicals used the drilling process."

Get the Story:
Editorial: To Make Fracturing Safer (The New York Times 5/11)

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Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee hearing (4/18)
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