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2015 Shapes Up as the Year of Energy Policy Debate

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 5, 2015

Interior Secretary: Local Fracking Bans are ‘Wrong Way to Go’

NPR: President Obama’s chief custodian of federal lands says local and regional bans on fracking are taking regulation of oil and gas recovery in the wrong direction.  “I would say that is the wrong way to go,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told KQED in an exclusive interview. “I think it’s going to be very difficult for industry to figure out what the rules are if different counties have different rules.”

In November, two California counties added themselves to a growing list of local bans on hydraulic fracturing. Voters approved measures in San Benito and Mendocino Counties by wide margins.

“There are a lot of fears out there in the general public and that manifests itself with local laws or regional laws,” Jewell said.

The recent move by New York to extend a statewide ban does not sit especially well with Jewell, who, as a former petroleum engineer, has hands-on experience with fracking.

“There is a lot of misinformation about fracking,” Jewell said. “I think that localized efforts or statewide efforts in many cases don’t understand the science behind it and I think there needs to be more science.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.