Industry promoted fuzzy math and misinformation about H.R. 2766: Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009, better know as the FRAC Act, rivals right-wing talk radio misinformation about health care reform! Despite what industry says, the FRAC Act does not have Death Panels for the oil and gas industry.
Fracking is used to extract natural gas buried in rock formations by injecting a fluid into the ground composed of sand, water and chemicals, some of which are toxic like benzene and toluene. The EPA had the authority to regulate fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act until 2005 when a misguided energy bill, which I vehemently opposed, stripped the agency of this authority. As a result, the oil and gas industry is now the only industry in the U.S. that cannot be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
This is not some new, dramatic burden for the oil and gas industry. The industry made huge profits prior to 2005 and it will still make huge profits when hydraulic fracturing is again regulated.
This important legislation would reverse the 2005 exemption and restore the EPA’s authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Additionally, the bill would require companies to honestly disclose the contents of fracturing fluid in order to increase public awareness and to enable state and local regulators to properly control the chemicals being pumped into the ground.
Here are some facts to clear up industry misinformation:
To clarify some misconceptions about the bill:
* It doesn’t ban fracturing or natural gas drilling in New York or anywhere else.
* It doesn’t prescribe new regulations that would stifle natural gas development.
* It doesn’t impose any delays on utilizing natural gas resources.
The bill simply restores commonsense protections that were in place before 2005.
For more information on hydraulic fracturing, click the links in the left column.