New fracking rules attempt to placate opposing camps

Posted: May 16, 2013

Written by

Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters
Fracking rig

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a new proposal for regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal lands, rolling back some measures from its original, abandoned draft as it sought to ease concerns the rules would be too burdensome for producers.

The U.S. Interior Department scrapped a proposal from 2012 after drawing heat from green groups and the drilling industry over rules aimed at updating decades-old fracking regulations.

While the rules would only cover federal lands, which have so far made up only a small portion of the shale oil and gas boom, the administration has said it hopes the regulations can act as a model for state oversight of private lands.

But in attempting to navigate between environmental concerns and economic needs, the latest plan did not please advocates on either side of the debate.

There will be a 30-day comment period on the draft rule following notice of its availability in the Federal Register.

Read the Updated Draft Rule for Hydraulic Fracturing on Public and Indian Lands.

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