By Ben Geman - 08/29/13 12:20 PM EDT
DeFazio and his colleagues, including the senior Democrats on several subcommittees, say the May 2013 proposal, which replaces a 2012 draft, has gotten weaker.
“When the [Department of Interior] previously issued draft hydraulic fracturing rules on May 11, 2012 six Democratic members of the House Natural Resources Committee wrote to express concerns with the proposal and suggest ways in which the rule could be improved,” the letter states.
“Unfortunately, the revised draft does little to address those comments of concern and instead deviates further from ensuring public health and safety by minimizing procedural and technical safeguards,” it states.
The letter is among the flood of public comments on the rules.
Industry groups and many Republicans say new regulation will add pointless red tape and costs, and that state-level requirements are already protective.
But many environmentalists want tougher regulation, and some activists are urging a fracking ban on public lands.
Industry and environmental groups have organized public comment drives, and the online docket for the regulation lists over 1.3 million comments. Check it out here.