Men with Cabot Oil and Gas work on a natural gas valve at a hydraulic fracturing site on January 18, 2012 in South Montrose, Pennsylvania.
The oil and gas industry is facing a traffic jam of federal regulators rushing to regulate hydraulic fracturing, and industry representatives says the Obama administration needs to do more to consolidate new rulemaking.
The American Petroleum Institute outlined efforts at ten separate federal agencies to regulate various aspects of hydraulic fracturing, and many of the anticipated rules from those efforts are duplicative of existing federal rules, existing state rules, or threaten to preempt an existing effort at EPA to regulate emissions from oil and natural drilling operations, API said.
“More regulation could increase costs and delays for operators, which could harm new projects, sacrificing thousands of new jobs and depriving government of billions in revenue,” API vice president for economics and regulatory policy Kyle Isakower said in a call with reporters on March 1, 2012.
API is coordinating efforts to guarantee energy issues are at the heart of the 2012 elections. Read more on Breaking Energy here.
Efforts to streamline regulations and allow for increased oil and gas development have been advocated by the Obama administration, API allowed, but a “critical look” at what the various agencies under its leadership are doing is needed to consolidate and coordinate planned regulations. “A significant change of course is needed,” Isakower said.
The federal agencies currently circling the practice of hydraulic fracturing include:
- Department of Energy
- Department of Interior
- US Department of Agriculture
- Department of Defense
- Department of Transportation
- The Securities and Exchange Commission
- Health and Human Services
- Department of Commerce
- Department of State
Their efforts could layer on top of existing rules at the state level and industry best-practices, API said. The industry body’s arguments echoed those presented in Congressional testimony ahead of the increased federal regulatory effort in 2011. Read more from that hearing on Breaking Energy here.