10 September 2010 19:55 [Source: ICIS news]
Officials with the American Petroleum Institute (API) said that long experience with hydraulic fracturing - known in the industry as fracking - and testing by federal and state agencies have failed to establish any link between that drilling technique and contamination of drinking water resources.
The institute called a press conference in advance of next week’s public hearings by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at
The agency also has issued a request to nine major
A bill pending in the US Congress would put hydraulic fracturing under EPA control. The process is now regulated by state governments and has been for nearly 60 years.
The public hearings in
“But I would hope, and we see some signs, that we haven’t departed from reality when we look at our energy mix,” she told the press conference. “We do need to expand renewables and increase our energy efficiency, but wind and solar only provide 1% of our energy supply and there is still a lot of need for both oil and gas as part of our energy reality.”
Stephanie Meadows, API senior policy advisor, said that part of the problem facing fracking in
“What we see in the Marcellus area is that fracturing is not a technology that has a history of use in the eastern side of the country, so there is a certain level of concern from the population there that is not familiar with the gas industry as are people in the
“Marcellus is getting more attention, and local homeowners are concerned,” she said.
Banaszak noted that hydraulic fracturing would be involved in almost 80% of all US domestic oil and gas wells to be drilled going forward, and fracking-dependent development of vast US shale gas resources was expected to account for nearly half of the country’s natural gas resources in years ahead.
She said the API expected the EPA’s request for detailed information on chemicals used in the fracking process and expects to see further EPA discovery efforts to inform the two-year study that is due by the end of 2012.
But she said the API remains opposed to efforts by some in Congress to put hydraulic fracturing under the control of the EPA.
“Our position, as we have stated over and over, is that there is no need for another layer of federal oversight,” she said. “States already regulate fracking and have been successfully doing so for 60 years, so it is questionable what value additional federal regulations would bring to what the states are already doing.”
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