The FRAC Act has another co-sponsor!
WASHINGTON – As the House Natural Resources Committee holds hearings on reforms to the nation’s oil and gas program, more than 160 community and national organizations across the country signed on to a letter of support for passage of legislation that would protect drinking water from the growing impacts of hydraulic fracturing, a process used in most natural gas drilling projects.
“When it comes to the public’s health, it is not unreasonable to require the oil and gas industry to disclose the toxic chemicals they use in our local communities,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “The oil and gas industry has one of the only exceptions under the Safe Drinking Water Act that frees them from federal oversight and disclosure. With people getting sick from contaminated water sources potentially due to frac’ing, the public’s safety is paramount.” Rep. DeGette introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (or “FRAC Act”) in the House with Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO). Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the bill in the Senate.
“While hydraulic fracturing has been used for decades, the chemicals used in this process are known toxins that inherently present risks to drinking water supplies,” said Rep. Hinchey. “Natural gas drilling certainly has its place as part of a comprehensive energy plan, but it must be done in a way that does not jeopardize public health and put the environment at risk for decades and centuries to come.”
Although the oil and gas industry has consistently alleged potential economic consequences of the proposed regulations, a recent economic critique of industry publications conducted by ECONorthwest detailed fundamental flaws in these allegations. The critique, commissioned by Natural Resources Defense Council, found that the industry reports fail to consider the wide range of alternatives for implementing the proposed regulations, including ways that could reduce costs and increase benefits. They also ignore the economic benefits of the proposed regulations and grossly exaggerate the economic costs of the proposed regulations. The authors concluded: “The errors contained in the three reports are serious enough to render their findings untenable from an economic perspective.” Read the critique.