House to take aim at fracking regulations

ADVERTISEMENT
The Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), would block the federal government’s attempt to impose new rules on the process. The bill passed through the Natural Resources Committee along mostly partly lines in July. 

“Throughout the fall, House Republicans will continue to bring environmentally friendly energy legislation like this to the floor to bring down the cost of energy, create jobs for the middle class, and make the United States more energy independent,” Cantor said in the memo.

Republicans have worried that the Interior Department rules, which are still in draft form, would impose unnecessary requirements on the oil-and-gas industry and restrict new energy development, which would lead to higher prices. They have maintained that states, not federal officials, are best equipped to regulate the process.

"The working middle class is struggling under the weight of increased energy costs all while the United States has enough natural gas and newly discoverable oil finds to meet our energy needs for almost a century," Cantor added. "We must focus on expanding our energy production in an environmentally friendly way to lower the price of energy for all Americans."

The Obama administration, on the other hand, has said that the federal government needs to be responsible for setting minimum standards to make sure that fracking is safe and does not pollute groundwater.

The proposed rules, released in May, would require that companies disclose the chemicals they use in fracking operations and address wastewater that returns to the surface after the process is completed.