Invoking the classic states-versus-the-feds power struggle, the American Petroleum Institute made its position on the superiority of local input clear on Wednesday.
In a media conference call, the API’s Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito read the institute’s official response to the recent regulatory draft report on hydraulic fracturing from the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB).
“Rather than deferring on the proper role of state governments, we recommend the Subcommittee acknowledge the success that has been demonstrated through state-level programs,” Milito read from the statement.
He added that factors such as local climate, geology, hydrology and topography are important for regulators to consider, something that would be impossible on a national level.
“Regulation of exploration and production operations through state agencies is the best approach, he said. “State conditions vary too much in the factors noted to be amenable to a one-size-fits-all national approach.”
Milito repeatedly emphasized that the report was redundant and failed to take into account current state regulations.
“We understand the need to continually look at the regulations and fill gaps where needed,” Milito said, but, in his view, the report failed to conduct a gap analysis and instead jumped to proposing regulations that may already exist at the state level.
Among other recommendations, the SEAB report noted that the public is wary of “fracking” and power companies need to make more of an effort to reach out.
“We have to address public confidence, but we’re not sure about how these specific methods of regulation will address that,” Milito said. “I don’t think a committee is something that can instill public confidence.”
For a review of the SEAB report, read: Trust The Missing Ingredient In Natural Gas Drilling.
Photo Caption: American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard delivers remarks on the state of American Energy at the Newseum in Washington, DC, January 4, 2011.