Obama Administration Caves to Fracking Companies on Major Regulation
The Obama administration on Friday issued a proposed rule governing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on public lands that will for the first time require disclosure of the chemicals used in the process.
But in a significant concession to the oil industry, companies will have to reveal the composition of fluids only after they have completed drilling, not before -- a sharp change from the government's original proposal, which would have required disclosure of the chemicals 30 days before a well could be started.
The walkback of the rule followed a series of meetings at the White House after the original regulation was proposed in February. Lobbyists representing oil industry trade associations and individual major producers like ExxonMobil, XTO Energy, Apache, Samson Resources and Anadarko Petroleum met with officials of the Office of Management and Budget, who reworked the rule to address industry concerns about overlapping state regulations and the cost of compliance.
It's awesome that the Administration would take the time to meet with industry in order to avoid inconveniencing them as they milk our public lands for all they're worth. And then insure that industry won't have to tell us until they're done spilling chemicals, just how toxic they really are. Clearly any kind of concern for the health of the environment or people nearby is a complete charade -- how else could you justify allowing an operation to take place before you know what the risks will be? The Administration policy appears to be, "drill first, ask questions later."