Taken from the Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future

Encouraging Responsible Development Practices for Natural Gas:
Recent technology and operational improvements in extracting natural gas resources, particularly shale gas, have increased gas drilling activities nationally and led to significantly higher natural gas production estimates for decades to come. In order to take full advantage of this important domestic energy resource, we must proactively address concerns that have been raised regarding potential negative impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) practices. That is why the Administration is taking steps to address these concerns and ensure that natural gas production proceeds in a safe and responsible manner. Initiatives supported by the Administration include:

1. Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals:
The Administration is calling on industry to be more transparent about the use of fracking chemicals.

2. Leading by Example:
In April, DOI will hold a series of regional public meetings to discuss the potential for expanding shale gas production on Federal lands. These events will provide a forum to develop a framework for responsible production on public lands.

3. Research:
The Federal government will conduct research to examine the impacts of fracking on water resources. At Congress’ direction, EPA will continue with its study of fracturing impacts on drinking water and surface water, and DOE will likewise sponsor research on these issues.

4. Setting the Bar for Safety and Responsibility:
To provide recommendations from a range of independent experts, the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the EPA Administrator and Secretary of Interior, should task the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) with establishing a subcommittee to examine fracking issues. The subcommittee will be supported by DOE, EPA and DOI, and its membership will extend beyond SEAB members to include leaders from industry, the environmental community, and states. The subcommittee will work to identify, within 90 days, any immediate steps that can be taken to improve the safety and environmental performance of fracking and to develop, within six months, consensus recommended advice to the agencies on practices for shale extraction to ensure the protection of public health and the environment.

5. Offering Technical Assistance to State Regulators:
States exercise oversight of oil and gas drilling using delegated authority under Federal environmental laws and additional authorities under state law. Some have made more progress than others on enhancing protections to deal with the challenges of fracking. DOE and EPA are establishing a mechanism to provide technical assistance to states to assess the adequacy of existing state regulations. EPA will continue to perform a strong backstop role under Federal environmental laws and will take actions, as necessary, to protect public health and the environment.

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Tags: fracturing, htdraulic

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Comment by John Cooper on April 8, 2011 at 9:33am
I didn't see this speech.  Is the API going to have a say in these discussions?
Comment by MJS on April 7, 2011 at 10:46pm

An Obama is what happens when fools who stand for nothing and fall for anything vote.

Comment by P.G. on April 7, 2011 at 8:04pm
I wonder if this will turn into a political issue like ANWR..?
Comment by essay on April 7, 2011 at 4:56pm

Hydraulic fracturing has seen fairly widespread use for over 60 years as far as I know, and the roots of the technology go back over a century.  Should we use this known technology to reduce our foreign oil dependence, which threatens our very national security?  NO we should fear it, fear it so much that we regulate it out of existence, to make room for windmills, solar farms, and biofuels like ethanol.


Do the people worried about the chemicals in frac water have any idea what they come into contact with every day?  Do yo live close to a paper mill?  Do you sleep on a mattress?  Eat food grown with pesticides and growth hormone?  Drive a car?  Use coal fired electricity?  Pump your own gas?  Use ANY cleaning products?  Cosmetics?  Plastics?  Computers?  Drain cleaner?  Air fresheners?

 

My god why are we not all dead?  ARE YOU AT LEAST AFRAID YET?  http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/10/26/senate.toxic.america.hearing/i...

 

Oh and last but not least, how about http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/deadzone/  Happens every year, in fact I think nowadays it never goes away, just fluctuates in size depending on the season.  Last year it was larger than the state of New Jersey.  Where is all of the coverage and hysteria for that?  Some might say, but we have to eat...  well, we have to fuel our homes and cars too, it's no less important, yet we allow.....  well you know what, like someone else just observed, who cares about facts and logic, I'm done.  Go back to sleep everyone, politics and energy opinions should be developed from fear-mongering soundbites and headlines anyway.
Comment by JRCFarms on April 7, 2011 at 3:43pm
Well fracturing is not a new technology. It was being used back when I was working in the gulf, in 1992 and I don't recall the gulf draining of water or any other problem. It may be new to gas extraction out of shale rock formations but, it's been around for several years.
Comment by k .r. hunt on April 7, 2011 at 3:37pm

ok ,first..the transparent issue,we're all waiting on that too,MR.PRESIDENT! This administration does everything behind closed doors! Anything the "administration" is involved in goes in the toilet! Im just saying...Theres an inherent risk in everything we do every day.This country was built on people standing up and taking risks,capitalism,dreams,and making them happen.nothing we do in life is free from any danger or harm. the key is to do things in moderation,take all the facts you can gather up,and minimize,do the best you can for the good of All! In this country we need gas and oil to run! we are not set up for electric cars and windmills right now. Maybe in our future but not today. Obama said today if your getting 8miles to the gallon in your car...go trade it in..thats not the answer now is it???? I need my large car!don't have a safe Windmill or electric car in the garage to pull my trailer..waiting on the administration to GIVE me one! but wait a minute..I work and pay my taxes and have good health care..so i wont get one..the administration is saving all the goodies for the unemployed moochers

and takers to take a safe test drive first.  Sorry to rant but i read that and guess just blew! This administration is killing me !!!!!!! we need to put folks back to work,and balance the budget ! Fracking is as safe as it can be right now,we don't need the administration to spend more money and precious time too tell us what we already know! things get better in time,i get that .but the guys doing all these "tests" are not the men and woman on the ground...their suits! they read about it make deals ..and poof! we are told to buy into it. not happening :) 

 

Comment by CypressKnees on April 7, 2011 at 3:20pm

So many of you have a comfort level with the chemicals (benzene,etc) used. Some of us ignoramuses are still obscessing about pthalates (that are everywhere) and whether they affect testosterone levels, etc.

 

Can you all edify the rest of us why we should believe benzene et al won't some day cause our baby sons and/or daughters to have tumors or our men to have reproductive problems the way plasticizers, face creams, cling film, etc MAY do?

 

It seems at least reasonable to explore this. And if the gov (EPA) shuts down-it may be a moot point.

Thanks for listening-

Comment by Clyde on April 7, 2011 at 2:13pm
I've got mineral rights on several pieces of land I hope gets drilled, and most of them likely will require fracking. But just because the industry says it's harmless, don't think everybody is going to believe them. It may be hard to believe, but a lot of people, even in oil states like La. and Texas, much less the "elitist" areas of the country, don't trust the oil industry a hell of a lot more than they do the Federal government. And the last I heard, the industry itself is still testing in areas to see if certain practices are harmful. Sweep this one under the rug, even if it is totally harmless as it seems, and you're asking for more hostility than ever. And hell, stop thinking that everything is a giant plot against whatever you believe in. That's exactly what makes us sound like the other kooks.
Comment by Tommy Smith on April 7, 2011 at 1:03pm

I agree with Skip in that the process must be completed before we'll have meaningful progress toward natural gas for transportation.  But, I also think there is a fair amount of risk associated with the process.  As Keith noted, the current administration has an inherent bias against the oil and gas industry and hydraulic fracturing.

That bias is on display in Step 5 - " Some have made more progress than others on enhancing protections to deal with the challenges of fracking."

In other words, fracking is bad (challenges) and more "protections" will be forthcoming.  It'll be interesting to see if emotions or facts win the day. 

Comment by David Hearn on April 7, 2011 at 12:58pm

I'm also an independent landman, and I disagree that these actions need to be taken. 

1) It's just a wate of money.  We already know that fracking is safe and a bunch of Ivy league elitists don't need to confirm it.  They'll just cook the science like they did with global warming.

2) The studies will only be designed to prove that fracking in NOT safe.  Plenty of history to figure this one out.  So they are bringing industry experts, DOE, DOI, EPA and certain states together?  Sounds like an ambush to me for the industry to me.

 

I say we just bide our time and wait these political hacks out.  When things get bad enough people will change their tune.  Probably just after the time they have to start chopping wood to heat their homes.  I say we help them get to that point...

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