Posted April 13, 2012
Credit where credit’s due: The White House issued an executive order Friday creating an interagency working group to coordinate the administration’s review of hydraulic fracturing. It’s a welcome step considering what was developing – a regulatory mishmash wrought by the 10 separate federal agencies that were looking at fracking rules and policies. API President and CEO Jack Gerard:
“We’re pleased that the White House recognizes the need to coordinate the efforts of the 10 federal agencies that are reviewing, studying or proposing new regulations on natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing. We have called on the White House to rein in these uncoordinated activities to avoid unnecessary and overlapping federal regulatory efforts and are pleased to see forward progress.”
The United States is enjoying an energy revolution thanks in large part to hydraulic fracturing – producing record amounts of oil from North Dakota and ample supplies of affordable natural gas from a handful of other states. Energy, energy-related jobs and associated economic growth are the result – as well as boosts to other sectors including manufacturing and the chemical industry.
Yet, the possibility loomed that fracking and its benefits could be smothered by a regulatory jungle from Washington, with needless delays and unnecessary costs discouraging investment and innovation. If the new working group prevents this, it will be a good thing.
We recognize the new group is less than 24 hours old, but some key points it should consider:
- Hydraulic fracturing is the chief reason the U.S. is having an energy revolution. Without fracking, there’s no revolution.
- The states already have sound regulatory regimes in place, assisted by initiatives like STRONGER, which are tailored to the different geographies, geologies and other specific factors where fracking is under way.
- Industry has led the way in terms of technological innovation and the development of operating standards, as well as efforts to provide information and create transparency in fracking operations.
“We have one of the largest known reserves of natural gas in the world, and we need public policies based on sound science in order to develop this affordable source of energy.”
The new working group is a step in that direction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.