By Tara Lohan, AlterNet
The Obama administration on Friday issued a proposed rule governing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on public lands that will for the first time require disclosure of the chemicals used in the process.
But in a significant concession to the oil industry, companies will have to reveal the composition of fluids only after they have completed drilling, not before — a sharp change from the government’s original proposal, which would have required disclosure of the chemicals 30 days before a well could be started.
The walkback of the rule followed a series of meetings at the White House after the original regulation was proposed in February. Lobbyists representing oil industry trade associations and individual major producers like ExxonMobil, XTO Energy, Apache, Samson Resources and Anadarko Petroleum met with officials of the Office of Management and Budget, who reworked the rule to address industry concerns about overlapping state regulations and the cost of compliance.
It’s awesome that the Administration would take the time to meet with industry in order to avoid inconveniencing them as they milk our public lands for all they’re worth. And then insure that industry won’t have to tell us until they’re done spilling chemicals, just how toxic they really are. Clearly any kind of concern for the health of the environment or people nearby is a complete charade — how else could you justify allowing an operation to take place before you know what the risks will be? The Administration policy appears to be, “drill first, ask questions later.”
The Editors Say:
Meanwhile, from the lying horse’s own mouth, this is what their front website, “Energy Tomorrow” is insidiously proclaiming:
Shale oil and natural gas development in the United States has been a clear economic success story during a time when successes have been few. Our industry has been producing energy, jobs and revenue at a strong clip. And yet we’ve only begun to realize the benefits of energy from shale.
The industry is committed to producing this energy safely and responsibly, and in addition to strong industry standards, there are appropriate federal and state regulations in place for oil and natural gas operations, including those that employ hydraulic fracturing. And many state rules have recently been strengthened.
So it is a concern that there are now 10 separate federal government agencies looking to study and potentially add new and unnecessary layers of regulations on hydraulic fracturing, the technology on which 70 percent of future gas wells depend.
Unnecessary (sic) layers of federal regulation could increase costs and delays for operators, which could harm new projects, sacrificing thousands of new jobs and depriving government of billions in revenue.
Below, in our opinion, a typical ad with a notorious putana putting a pretty face on the oil industry’s lies. Beauty in the service of evil is not a new phenomenon, and there’s no dearth of such people in the acting profession. Or any other profession, for that matter. Corporate money can corrupt anyone, all the more easily those who are already in that ignorant or reactionary frame of mind.
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