New federal fracking rules will reduce air pollution

Posted: Apr 26, 2012

Written by

Billings Gazette

Neither side in the debate was celebrating the new Environmental Protection Agency rules announced last week to reduce air pollution from thousands of natural gas wells that undergo hydraulic fracturing every year.

Industry representatives said the new rules could hurt business growth, curtail production and make it more difficult for companies to meet the demand for gas and oil, driving up prices. Installing green-completion technology is expensive and takes time. Smaller companies might not have the capital to add the required equipment.

Environmental groups weren't happy about the transition period, saying that dangerous emissions should be contained immediately. They said three years was too long to wait for full implementation that would affect about 11,000 new wells a year and another 1,200 that are re-fracked.

The rules, announced just days before the nation observed Earth Day, will safeguard the public while promoting production of natural gas in a environmentally sound way. The EPA believes the green-completion requirement will more than pay for itself.

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