October 11, 2011
Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) sent the following letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him once again to testify before the Committee regarding the Department’s plans to issue rules on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands within the next “month or so.” Chairman Hastings first wrote Secretary Salazar a letter
on December 1, 2010 asking him to testify on this issue before the Interior Department imposed new regulations. Salazar responded
to Chairman Hastings’ first letter assuring him that if the Department moved forward with fracking requirements, they would do so “in a fashion that fully considers public and Congressional concerns.”
Hydraulic fracturing is a long standing drilling technique that is necessary to extract natural gas from unconventional shale reservoirs. Fracking has been effectively regulated by states for over 60 years and is responsible for 30 percent of our domestic oil and natural gas production.
Click here to view the letter.
Dear Mr. Secretary:
Last week, at an event sponsored by Christian Science Monitor, you announced that the Department of the Interior plans to issue rules regarding hydraulic fracturing on federal lands, within a “month or so.” In your comments, you also reiterated your belief in transparency and full disclosure regarding hydraulic fracturing.
In the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, I would like to re-extend my invitation for you to testify on this matter before the House Natural Resources Committee. In a letter sent on December 1, 2010, I requested that prior to the Department of the Interior taking action to unilaterally set forth new regulations regarding energy development on federal lands that you appear before the Committee to provide testimony and answer questions from Committee members. It is our responsibility, as the Committee with jurisdiction on activities on federal lands, to carefully examine this issue and ensure any action proposed by the Department is within the law and takes into consideration the impacts on jobs, communities, revenues, states and our economy.
In your response to my request, you stated that you looked forward to working with Members of Congress on natural gas development and “Should the Department move forward with disclosure requirements…we will do so in a fashion that fully considers public and Congressional concerns.”
In accordance with our previous communications, I look forward to you appearing before the Natural Resources Committee prior to the Department issuing any new regulations or requirements governing hydraulic fracturing on federal lands so that we may work together on this important issue.
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