Hydraulic Fracture: The Truth About State versus Federal Regulation

Industry is spending millions in propaganda to combat the FRAC Act that will allow citizens to know what chemicals are used near their drinking water and allow hydraulic fracturing to be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

They are inciting the public by using a power grabbing Federal Government versus states’ rights spin. This is completely false!

Here is the truth to counter the spin:

Currently Alabama is the only state in the US with special provisions to regulate hydraulic fracturing. The other states do not have specific fracturing rules; they rely on general drilling rules – casing, logs, pressure monitoring, waste disposal, etc. – to indirectly cover hydraulic fracturing.

Colorado has a disclosure rule that is not specific to fracturing – it covers all chemicals used down hole – drilling, fracturing, completion, etc. New York and Pennsylvania also require disclosure of fracking chemicals, but no actual regulation.

Legislation being considered by Congress would allow most states to remain the primary regulators of hydraulic fracturing, with flexibility as to their programs, but the legislation provides critical federal oversight – something that was lost when Congress passed the “Halliburton loophole” in 2005.

A study by Ground Water Protection Council concluded that for “Well Treatment, Stimulation and Fracturing,” Texas has “No specific regulation located.”

The claim that regulation will kill the industry has no basis in fact. From the following slide, you can see that drilling in Alabama had no slowdown after 1997 when they started regulating hydraulic fracturing in response to a court case.

Regulation will result in more jobs, safer water and cleaner air.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Anonymous says

    Typical PR BS. Typical of the O&G PR machine. We've got to have this federal requirement of disclosure and it needs to be run by the FEDS. If it's deligated to the states, here in TX, we have the Lapdog RRC and WCEQ to take care of us. What a joke. IF that happens, nothing will change.