US announces new fracking regulations

Fracking companies in the US will soon have to reveal the chemicals they use. The Obama administration recently made the announcement which will come into effect on 24th June, to […]

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Fracking companies in the US will soon have to reveal the chemicals they use.

The Obama administration recently made the announcement which will come into effect on 24th June, to address environmental concerns over the controversial drilling method.

Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting liquid beneath the earth’s surface, breaking down shale reserves to release gas and oil. It uses vast amounts of water and in many cases special chemicals to break down and release the trapped gas and oil.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told a news conference in Washington the changes were a “common sense” approach to updating regulations.

She said: “They simply haven’t kept pace with the technological complexities of today’s hydraulic fracturing operations.”

However, some think the measures don’t go far enough. Writing in a Tennessee newspaper ex-White House spokesman Robert Weiner and Policy Analyst Hannah Coombs criticised the decision.

They wrote: “In reality, the regulations, which go into effect June 24, only provide short-term prevention of serious damage. We will be dancing to the joy of cheap oil prices until the wells are drilled dry — which could be as soon as five years — and could be facing earthquakes and drinking polluted ground water until then.”

The article concludes with a stark warning for the politicians to legislate further: “With no strong regulation of fracking in place and no protection from an approaching disaster of ended supplies and contaminated water, our energy policy remains in free fall.”