May 4, 2012 in Business, Nation/World

Interior sets new rules on hydraulic fracturing

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is requiring companies drilling for natural gas on public and Indian lands to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations.

The new “fracking” rules also set standards for proper construction of wells and wastewater disposal.

The rules are set to be announced today. The Associated Press obtained a copy in advance.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the long-awaited rules will allow continued expansion of natural gas drilling while protecting public health and safety.

Industry groups and Republican lawmakers say federal rules are unnecessary, arguing that states already regulate hydraulic fracturing, in which water, sand and chemicals are in injected underground to break up dense rock that holds oil and gas. Critics believe the chemicals have polluted water supplies, but supporters say there is no proof.

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