Republicans blast new Interior fracking safety rules as unnecessary job-killers


The Obama administration’s unveiling Friday of federal regulations aimed at ensuring the safety of hydraulic fracturing ignited a furious eruption from the industry and Republicans, who blasted the rules an attack on jobs and energy independence.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the additional layer of regulations were needed to update 30-year-old rules, keep pace with technological innovation, and provide “a framework of safeguards and disclosure protocols” on companies using the fracking process on federal lands, including tribal lands.

“Today’s final rule is a major step in the Department of the Interior’s agenda to support a balanced, prosperous energy future,” Ms. Jewell said in a statement. “Other reforms will also include important measures to target where oil and gas leasing occurs and protect sensitive areas that are too special to drill.”

Environmentalists cheered the tougher standards but Republicans were outraged, accusing the Obama administration of once again making it more difficult to develop Western energy resources of public land, which lag behind private lands in oil and gas exploration and extraction.

“The Obama administration is at it again. States like Montana have successfully overseen hydraulic fracturing for years, but once again, the Obama administration seems more set on overregulating our energy industry than promoting the responsible development of our nation’s vast energy resources,” said Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican, in a statement. (by By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times)