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Few objections to fracking rule from oil industry, says Obama's Interior chief

The draft rule, which was revised from an earlier version, drew fire from both the fossil fuel industry and environmentalists.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), though, said that "many questions still remain."

"[T]his new rule has the potential to significantly slow domestic energy production, as well as damage national, state, and local economies. An additional layer of regulation must be carefully scrutinized and the last thing we need are rules that create confusion in the regulatory process,” Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations, said in a Thursday statement.

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Oil-and-gas groups want states to continue regulating fracking, and argue federal requirements would be duplicative.

Green groups, however, say the rule is too weak.

Jewell said those responses were likely a good sign.

“Well, I think if you’re making both sides mad then that probably means that you’re hitting the middle ground,” she told reporters.

The draft rule governs fracking on federal lands. It proposes establishing reporting requirements for chemicals used in the fracking process and setting guidelines for well integrity and managing so-called flowback water.

Fracking is a drilling method that injects a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals into tight-rock formations to access hydrocarbons buried deep underneath.

The practice has been credited with driving a domestic energy boom, but it’s brought concerns of pollution.