Energy & Environment

Exxon, Chevron meet with White House over fracking regs

Oil giants ExxonMobil, Chevron and Halliburton met with White House staffers last week to talk about an upcoming federal fracking regulation for operations on public lands.

Lobbyists for the companies met with White House officials from the Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Monday, according to a record of the meeting recently posted on the OMB’s website.

{mosads}American Petroleum Institute (API), Occidental Petroleum and Marathon Oil lobbyists also joined in on the meeting with the administration officials.

The meeting is one of many the White House has hosted in the last few months on its rule on fracking, a horizontal drilling method for oil and gas that pumps chemicals and water into the ground to break up deposits.

Environmentalists and a number of Democrats have pressured the Interior Department, which proposed the rule, and the administration to issue the “strongest possible” standards for fracking on federal lands.

The oil and gas industry however, has expressed concern about the route the regulation could take, evident in two handouts presented at the meeting with the White House and Interior Department officials this week.

The lobbyists told administration officials during the meeting that the new rule could “discourage” or “delay” new production on federal lands, according to a handout from API.

“Since almost all western oil and natural gas development requires hydraulic fracturing the implementation of the proposed rule could, by increasing permitting time periods and regulatory uncertainty, delay or discourage new production on federal lands,” API’s handout states.

Additionally, API and energy company Hess both took issue with the term “usable water” in the rule, which the lobbyists argue would require water zones that are “unsuitable for human consumption or agricultural” uses among others.

The definition, API said in its handout, is “vague and overly broad.”

The regulation is in its final rule stage at the OMB, and is expected to receive heavy scrutiny once finalized. 

Tags American Petroleum Institute Chevron ExxonMobil fracking gas Halliburton Office of Management and Budget oil

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