Republicans are stepping up political pressure on the White House to back off regulations that will impose new controls on the controversial oil-and-gas development method called hydraulic fracturing.
The Republican Governors Association and the Republican Attorneys General Association, in a letter to Monday to President Obama, allege that the planned Interior Department rules will stymie oil-and-gas production on federal and Indian lands.
“The states, not the federal government, are best positioned to appropriately regulate hydraulic fracturing operations. Current state regulations already provide effective and efficient oversight that is specific to the needs of the states,” the letter states, alleging the planned rules will be economically harmful.
In May, Interior floated draft rules that would, among other requirements, force drillers operating on federal and Indian lands to disclose chemicals used when employing the method dubbed “fracking.”
Fracking involves high-pressure injections of water, chemicals and sand into shale formations to open seams that enable hydrocarbons to flow.
The method is enabling a boom in energy production from shale rock formations in several regions, which has largely occurred on state and private lands.
But the boom is bringing fears of water pollution and other environmental damage with it.
Interior had earlier planned to finalize the rules by the end of 2012, but announced last week that the timeline has been pushed back.