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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Industry Pushes Back Against EPA Study of Fracking's Effects on Air Quality

From SNL:
The U.S. EPA recently requested funding to study the effects of hydraulic fracturing on air quality, but oil and gas industry advocates promptly dismissed the proposal as unnecessary. 
In its budget request for the 2017 fiscal year, the EPA proposed a nearly $1.5 million funding increase for its Air, Climate and Energy research program, which would "undertake a coordinated effort to study the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing on air quality." The study would be in keeping with a memorandum of agreement signed by the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of the Interior, according to the budget justification. 
"This research strategy is designed to evaluate the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on air quality to support sustainable approaches to unconventional oil and natural gas development and production," the agency said. 
Not surprisingly, the proposal drew exasperation from industry advocates, especially those in states with large oil and gas production. 
Kathleen Sgamma, the Western Energy Alliance's vice president of government and public affairs, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the study was a sign that the Obama administration had put the cart ahead of the horse.
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