Thursday, May 16, 2013

Obama Admin Proposes New Fracking Regs

It’s Interior’s second swing at the delayed rules after the department in January pulled back a proposal from mid-2012.

“The new proposal maintains important safety standards, improves integration with existing state and tribal standards, and increases flexibility for oil and gas developers,” the department said in a statement Thursday.

The plan drew immediate criticism from industry officials who say the rules are not needed, and from green groups who say Interior has made troubling concessions to oil and gas companies.
Now there's a shock.
The proposed rules require energy companies to disclose chemicals that are used in the fracking process.

The measures also require companies to verify that fluids from the fracking process aren’t escaping into groundwater, and mandates that they have management plans for large volumes of “flowback water,” which is a byproduct of well development.
My guess is that the disclosure rules are more of a problem than the verification and management plans for "flowback water." They had to know those were going to be coming. However the chemical disclosure is likely cause them to lose a competitive edge, and open them up to more criticism (people react so strangely to odd chemical names, even if they have no clue as to their properties or toxicity). However, there are exemptions for proprietary chemicals.
“Although no amount of regulation will make fracking acceptable, the proposed BLM rules fail even to take obvious steps to make it safer. This proposal does not require drillers to disclose all chemicals being used for fracking and continues to allow trade-secret exemptions for the oil and gas industry,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune in a statement.
So the ultra-enviros weren't willing to accept any compromise. After all, their main issue is that fracking will free massive amounts of fossil fuel, that they are opposed to at all costs.  Why bother to try to satisfy them if you already know their response.

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