Oil industry warns of late Obama regulation push

Oil industry warns of late Obama regulation push
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The top oil and natural gas lobbying group on Tuesday warned the Obama administration to not over-regulate the industry on its way out of office next year. 

One week before Election Day, the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday said it's tracking upcoming federal decisions on methane regulations, a study on the safety of hydraulic fracturing and a new five-year drilling plan, among other issues on President Obama’s plate before he leaves office in January. 

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Kyle Isakower, API’s vice president of regulatory and economic policy, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should finalize a report that, in a preliminary version, concluded fracking has no impact on the safety and quality of drinking water. The EPA’s Science Advisory Board has criticized the report’s methodology, but the natural gas industry says it supports their conclusions about fracking’s safety. 

Isakower said API is a also pushing the Obama administration to push back an implementation schedule for a rule on ozone emissions, and warned against Bureau of Land Management regulations on methane emissions from drilling sites on federal lands. 

Before he leaves office, Obama also has to finalize a new five-year plan on drilling in federal waters around the United States. That decision has become a major issue for the oil industry and anti-drilling groups because it's one of the last major energy issues Obama has to decide on the end of his term. 

A proposed plan would block drilling in the Atlantic Ocean and limit it in the Arctic. The oil industry has criticized the decision to prevent Atlantic drilling, and Isakower warned, “making the same mistake now by removing the Arctic from the plan would be very short-sighted.”

“Right now, the United States is leading the world in the production of oil and natural gas,” Isakower said.

“As this administration prepares to release the last of its regulations and as we approach the election, it’s important that the significant progress that we have made, continues.”