Instead of new federal rules regulating hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas deposits, Washington should speed up the permit process, the head of a major oil and gas trade group urged this week.
Jack Gerard, president and chief executive officer at the American Petroleum Institute, said the “shale revolution” is providing jobs and energy security to the United States. Instead of regulating the process, he said, Washington should make it easier for energy companies to move forward.
As we reported last week, the Interior Department floated updated regulations for the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells on federal and tribal lands, including requiring operators to outline the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing fluid.
While overall oil and gas production is up in the U.S. under the Obama Administration, drilling on federal land has slowed. “It takes more than half a year on average to get a federal drilling permit for development on federal lands,” Gerard said in a statement. He added that delays in the permit process left an estimated 17,000 wells idled in Wyoming.
Gerard said the states should continue to handle the regulation of hydraulic fracturing, which they know how to do well, while the feds address the delays and fix the process.