Lawmakers press Interior to slow down on fracking rules

They say 120 days would enable the public to “fully participate and engage” in the rulemaking process.

On May 16, Interior unveiled revised draft rules to govern hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the development method enabling a U.S. production boom but bringing pollution fears alongside its expansion.

It drew criticism from an array of interests. Republicans and oil and gas companies say state-level oversight is sufficient, and that new federal rules will create new costs and red tape.

But environmentalists and some Democrats, in contrast, say the rules are too weak.

They’re upset that Interior is allowing companies to use an industry-favored website called FracFocus to meet chemical disclosure requirements.

They also say the rule gives industry too much leeway to shield information by claiming trade secrets, among other complaints.