Interior head promises fracking rule within weeks

Posted: May 6, 2013

Written by

Jennifer Dlouhy, AP/GW

The Obama administration plans to unveil new federal regulations for hydraulic fracturing and drilling on public lands within the next few weeks, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said during a teleconference with reporters.

The drilling rule will impose stricter standards on oil and natural gas obtained through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing on public lands.

A version released in May 2012 would have required energy companies to reveal the chemicals they use when drilling on federal lands. But the Interior Department later decided to mandate those disclosures only after the substances are released into the ground.

Jewell's announcement mimics that of her predecessor, Ken Salazar, who called the rule "imminent" in his final appearance before Congress as Interior secretary last month (E&ENews PM, April 11).

Jewell acknowledged yesterday that the rule has been "sufficiently changed" to warrant a request for additional comments when the proposal is revealed.

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