Hot Air Alert: If President Obama Supports Bipartisan Efforts to Increase Natural Gas Production, Why is His Administration Making it More Difficult?
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1, 2010 | Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson (202-225-2761)
On November 3, 2010, the day after the election, President Obama woke up to the stark reality that he would have to work with Republicans in Congress. During a press conference, the President identified natural gas as an issue where Republicans and Democrats could come together in a bipartisan way:
But if the President is sincere in his offer to work with Republicans to increase development of our nation’s vast natural gas resources, then why is his Cabinet announcing potential new regulations to keep it under lock and key?
Yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that he was considering a new proposal to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands – a technique responsible for tremendous growth in natural gas production. As reported by the Associated Press:
Hydraulic fracturing is a long-standing practice that has been effectively regulated by the states for over 60 years. This proposed new requirement would be taken unilaterally by the Administration and would demand companies provide something they often don’t own the rights to hand over to the government*, rendering them out of compliance with Interior Department regulations, thereby blocking their ability to procure drilling permits or worse forcing them to rely on less than best available technology. The effect would be to drive energy production out of America’s lands and threaten the jobs of thousands of Americans.
This Interior Department proposal, along with Environmental Protection Agency’s investigation into the chemicals used, are far from a bipartisan olive branch on natural gas and pose a serious threat to American jobs and American-made energy.
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