New Federal Fracking Rules Would Only Apply to 11% of Nation's Natural Gas Supply

Marcellus Protest/CC BY 2.0

Remember the draft fracking rules proposed by the Obama administration that would force companies to disclose the chemicals they use, but only after the fact? Well, a new piece in ProPublica explains two things that have been overlooked, one good and one really not so good at all.

The rules require that fracking operations would be required to test the physical integrity of their wells. That's the good thing as it will help prevent wells leaking.

The really not so good thing is this: The new rules would only apply to hydraulic fracturing operations on Bureau of Land Management and tribal lands—not private land, not state-owned land, and only some US Forest Service land.

Meaning, that only a small percentage of land being eyed for unconventional natural gas drilling is actually covered by the draft rules. The BLM says "11% of the nation's natural gas supply and 5% of its oil" comes from these lands, with 3400 wells being drilled in these areas, 90% of which involved hydraulic fracturing.

Read the full ProPublica piece for more detailed analysis of the draft federal regulations.

Tags: Fracking | Natural Gas | United States

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