Obama surrogate applauds states on fracking

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Jeff Holmstead, director of environmental strategies with the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani and who appeared in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said Holstein's praise for local handling of fracking underscored the importance of allowing local and state officials to regulate the practice.

“These are local issues. There’s the geologies -- and I think we agree on this,” Holmstead said. “There does need to be oversight, and I think the public needs to understand this can be done safely, but we don’t need more federal government involvement.”

Romney has advocated for states to handle drilling oversight, as well as for them to gain control of activity on federal lands within their borders.

The Obama campaign has been warming up to natural gas recently. With a carbon intensity half of coal, natural gas is credited with helping bring U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to an 18-year low.

But Romney and congressional Republicans have said the administration’s permitting process is too slow. They also say Obama has been too restrictive when it comes to drilling on federal lands.

This post was updated at 1:06 p.m.