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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cheney's Fracking "Halliburton Loophole"

 Another Bush administration gift that keeps on giving:

Safety First, Fracking Second, The Editors, Scientific American: A decade ago layers of shale lying deep underground supplied only 1 percent of America’s natural gas. Today they provide 30 percent. Drillers are rushing to hydraulically fracture, or “frack,” shales in a growing list of U.S. states. ... The benefits come with risks, however, that state and federal governments have yet to grapple with.
Public fears are growing about contamination of drinking-water supplies from the chemicals used in fracking and from the methane gas itself. Field tests show that those worries are not unfounded. ... Yet states have let companies proceed without adequate regulations. They must begin to provide more effective oversight, and the federal government should step in, too.
Nowhere is the rush to frack, or the uproar, greater than in New York. ... Fracking is already widespread in Wyoming, Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania.
All these states are flying blind. A long list of technical questions remains unanswered about the ways the practice could contaminate drinking water, the extent to which it already has, and what the industry could do to reduce the risks. ...
Scientific advisory panels at the Department of Energy and the EPA have enumerated ways the industry could improve and have called for modest steps, such as establishing maximum contaminant levels allowed in water for all the chemicals used in fracking. Unfortunately, these recommendations do not address the biggest loophole of all. In 2005 Congress—at the behest of then Vice President Dick Cheney​, a former CEO of gas driller Halliburton—exempted fracking from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Congress needs to close this so-called Halliburton loophole, as a bill co-sponsored by New York State Representative Maurice Hinchey would do. ...

    Posted by on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 12:15 AM in Economics, Regulation | Permalink  Comments (19)

          


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