Wyden: 'fracking' rule must include public safeguards

Hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking,” involves high-pressure injections of water, chemicals and sand into shale formations to open seams that enable hydrocarbons to flow.

Wyden supports the use of “new supplies of cleaner burning natural gas,” but said safeguards must be required as part of the process.

“Production of oil and gas resources from our public lands is of great importance to our Nation’s energy supply,” Wyden wrote. “At the same time, residents of neighboring communities must have confidence that the water they drink and the air they breathe will be free of harmful pollutants.”

To that end, Wyden is calling for "sound" provisions requiring firms to publicly disclose fracking activities and ensure the integrity of wells. He is also urging monitoring requirements in the rule.

The planned regulation will impose new requirements on fracking that's conducted on federal and Indian lands.

The Interior Department issued draft rules last May to require industry disclosure of fracking chemicals and other measures, but last month pulled those back, announcing it would take new comments and revise the proposal.

This post was updated at 4:45 a.m. on February 8.