April 13, 2012
Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Obama Administration's War on Natural Gas Continues To Expand
Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, blasted President Obama's executive order, "Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources," released today that will coordinate the activities of thirteen or more different federal agencies on natural gas development.
"President Obama now believes that his administration's efforts to regulate natural gas production have become so complicated and convoluted that he needs yet another government board to coordinate them," Senator Inhofe said, "While he makes disingenuous claims about how this working group is to increase natural gas production, we all know that the more layers of government involved, the greater the likelihood that he can stall efforts towards development. He already has ten federal agencies looking into hydraulic fracturing with the express purpose of trying to find something wrong with it - now President Obama wants to add yet another layer of bureaucracy. And to make matters worse, this working group incorporates even more federal agencies in the mix, bringing the total to thirteen with the possibility of more. So why, when states are already regulating the process safely, efficiently, and effectively is President Obama pushing for the involvement of more than thirteen different federal agencies? The answer is simple: with an election on the horizon - and the American people are feeling the economic pain of his disastrous war on fossil fuels - he's trying to pretend he supports natural gas production, while ensuring that the federal government does everything possible to impede hydraulic fracturing.
"While President Obama continues to push for increased federal regulations, Republicans believe that states have demonstrated that they are far better equipped to regulate fracking on a regional basis. Just ask the experts in my home state of Oklahoma: the first use of hydraulic fracturing took place in Duncan, Oklahoma in 1949, and in over 60 years there has not been one confirmed case of ground water contamination from fracked formations. Oklahoma is a leader in natural gas development, with 43,000 producing natural gas wells which support hundreds of thousands of jobs and contribute billions to our state's economy every year. The last thing we need is more federal entanglement in natural gas production that would hinder these jobs and economic growth all for little to no environmental benefits.
"That's why I recently introduced the Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands Act, (FRESH Act), S. 2248; my bill ensures that states will continue to have the sole authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing - not the federal government. That way, President Obama will not be able to impose federal regulations that will stop natural gas development in this country; it would keep his administration from achieving one part of their war on affordable energy."