After Jackson, EPA faces big decisions on U.S. fracking boom

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The past four years of U.S. environmental regulation was marked by a crackdown on emissions that angered coal miners and power companies. Over the next four, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency will have to decide whether to take on an even larger industry: Big Oil.

Following Lisa Jackson’s resignation on Wednesday, her successor will inherit the tricky task of regulating a drilling boom that has revolutionized the energy industry but raised fears over the possible contamination of water supplies.

The controversial technique at the center of the boom, hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals deep into shale rocks to extract oil and gas. It has become a flashpoint issue, putting the EPA — charged with safeguarding the nation’s water — in the middle of a fight between environmentalists and the energy industry.

Both sides now eagerly await a major EPA research project into fracking’s effects on water supplies due in 2014, as well as final rules on issues including the disposal of wastewater and the use of ‘diesel’ chemicals in the process.

It is unclear who will take the role, but the incoming chief may have a “huge impact” on the oil and gas industry, says Robert McNally, a White House energy adviser during the George W. Bush administration who now heads the Rapidan Group, a consulting firm.

Read More at msnbc.msn.com . By Jonathan Leff and Joshua Schneyer.

Photo credit: TexasGOPVote.com (Creative Commons)

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Comments

  1. GrustyOldGeezer says:

    PLEASE learn how to correctly spell "Fracing"

    The liberals misspell it because they are incapable of coherent thought patterns.

  2. Defund the EPA, the anti-energy people are not so "altruistic" they'll work for free. They'll have to go work for some other lefty agency like the UN. Hey, let's defund the UN, too!

  3. "The controversial technique at the center of the boom, hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals deep into shale rocks…". This is only controversial if you are an environmentalist. This process has been around for over a half of a century. Most of the injectants (99% ) are water and silicate (sand). Fracking typically occurs below the water tables. Environmentalists are lying about the dangers of fracking and most of the public doesn't understand it.

    • jmsmaxwell says:

      Surely you do not expect the whining liberal econ left to let facts stand in the way of their goal of
      putting us back into the dark ages and caves. Wonder how they will feel when the power runs out
      and they cannot use their "smart" phones or other devices to wail to each other about how unfair life
      is?

    • I bet a dime you are right. I also have read that the environmentalists are funded by the Saudis.

  4. The head of the EPA needs to take a second look at all the destruction and unemployment caused by this dizzy broad and start repealing them

  5. The new Damon movie is going to continue the lies that water will be flamable…it is the methane that erupts…has been doing that in junkyards and other places for years..I remember back in the 50s that all sorts of places were erupting because of methane. Now they want to blame it on fracking. And the stupid sheeple willingly believe the propaganda…the gov't wants to CONTROL everything to CONTROL the people.Agenda 21.

    • Good going, Ginger. I agree with you.

      One thing that I've come to discover, is that there have been no cases of "fracking" being responsible for contamination of water tables, aquifers or domestic water wells. The EPA (Lisa Jackson) actually published a report confirming this back in 2010 due to multiple investigations conducted by independent agencies in Colorado, Texas and others. There have been cases, however, in which biogenic methane, as opposed to thermogenic, being entrained in water from domestic water wells. This is due to mother nature's little slip-ups, not the Oil & Gas industries.

      Notice the wording used in the article: "…the tricky task of regulating a drilling boom that has revolutionized the energy industry but raised fears over the possible contamination of water supplies."

      These extremists are not offering any credible sources, studies or any substantive proof to support their suspicions upon which to base these alleged incidents of possible contamination of water supplies. They just use this dialectic to distort the truth and extort more attention and perpetuate fears among people who are ignorant of the truth. It is despicable.

      The more these "environmentalists" push for the abject shutdown of access to economical, reliable energy resources, e.g. Coal, Oil & Gas, the more we will suffer from skyrocketing costs of necessary transportation for deliveries of all goods to the marketplace, shopping, work, school, and pleasure.

  6. Well epa needs to be defunded & Obama needs his excutive order taken away after he signed another one to let congress & the arrogent VP to get a raise.

  7. Whomever lands in the EPA administrators chair will have no fear because the Obama administration has rendered the congress irrelevant. Look for more of the same until this country is totally destroyed.

  8. I can only hope her reason for leaving was because of ill health. And that it is terminal. It would be nice if pelosi, reid, and some of the other obama lackeys would leave for the same above mentioned reasons.

  9. You Know? It's a shame that this country has come to the place where a man (half black man) can rule without the consent of Congress or the will of the people. The sorry low life elected crooks in Washington have set down on their fat selfserving duffs and let a marxist muslim fraud take over the USA with the help of the lame stream media and the liberal socialist one way ilegal judicial system. If we have not become a communist country then we are certainly close to it. GOD help us because the freaks in Washington or courts want…

  10. There are NO big decisions. It is very simple: just drop it, because the states' divisions of oil and gas are already handling this issue. It is NOT even a serious issue.

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