NPR : News

Filed Under:

Fracking: New Rules Aim To Bring 'Best Practices' To Public Lands

Saying that the rules would "make sure that fracturing operations conducted on public and Indian lands follow common-sense industry best practices," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this morning issued proposed regulations that would:

-- Require "public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands."

-- Ensure that "wells used in fracturing operations [on public lands] meet appropriate construction standards."

-- Require operators to "put in place appropriate plans for managing flowback waters from fracturing operations."

As The Wall Street Journal notes, it's hoped that the rules would set "a new standard that natural-gas wells on all lands eventually could follow."

Last August, NPR's Christopher Joyce reported about the boom in "fracking" — the process of extracting natural gas by pumping millions of gallons of fluid underground to crack shale and drive the gas up to the surface. As he reported, anxiety about fracking runs deep because many people who live near such operations say their water has been ruined by the chemicals used in the process.

Some scientists say it's also possible that fracking has been causing small earthquakes in some places.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. Significant Compromise?

"In a significant concession to the oil industry," The New York Times writes, "companies will have to reveal the composition of fluids only after they start 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."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Credibility Concerns Overshadow Release Of Gay Talese's New Book

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about Gay Talese's new book, The Voyeur's Hotel. The credibility of the book, which follows a self-proclaimed sex researcher who bought a hotel to spy on his guests through ventilator windows, has been called into question after Farhi uncovered problems with Talese's story.
NPR

Amid Craft Brewery Boom, Some Worry About A Bubble — But Most Just Fear Foam

Fueled by customers' unquenchable thirst for the next great flavor note, the craft beer industry has exploded like a poorly fermented bottle of home brew.
NPR

White House Documents Number Of Civilians Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

The Obama administration issued a long awaited report Friday, documenting the number on civilians who have been accidentally killed by U.S. drone strikes. Human rights activists welcome the administration's newfound transparency, though some question whether the report goes far enough.
NPR

Tesla 'Autopilot' Crash Raises Concerns About Self-Driving Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a fatal crash involving a Tesla car using the "autopilot" feature. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Alex Davies of Wired about the crash and what it means for self-driving car technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.