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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Obama Cracks Down on Fracking on Federal Land, But GOP Plans to Fight Back

From The Hill:
The Obama administration is setting new standards for the controversial hydraulic fracturing process, the first major federal effort to crack down on the practice that has largely been behind the nation's oil and natural gas boom. 
The fracking standards only apply to drilling on leased federal land and land owned by American Indian tribes, which account for less than a quarter of the country’s oil production and 17 percent of its gas. The vast majority of fracking happens off federal land, regulators said. 
The long-awaited rules from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are meant, in part, to ease public fears about a practice that involves pumping fluids miles underground to extract oil and gas from small pockets in rock. 
“This rule will move our nation forward as we ensure responsible development while protecting public land resources,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told reporters. “That’s good for the public; it’s good for industry; it’s good government.”
Another article from The Hill:
Republicans on Friday roundly rejected the Obama administration’s rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal land and pledged to fight them. 
The GOP warned that the regulations will hamper the nation’s economic recovery that has been bolstered by the boom in natural gas and oil production, much of which depends on fracking. 
“America’s energy boom is one of the best things going for our economy, and keeping it going should be one of the federal government’s top priorities,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. 
“Instead, the Obama administration is so eager to appease radical environmentalists that it is regulating a process that is already properly regulated.” 
Boehner promised to “do all we can” to stop attempts to impede the energy boom, including the fracking rules.

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