Friday, June 29, 2012

State fracking rules "not good enough" for Salazar

All local politicians from "Heh Heh" Henry Cuellar to the Mayor to our seedy council have told us all time and again just how much they love the Eagle Ford Shale and all it's fracking activity. They ignore the fact that the oil and gas companies have to be here (Webb county) because that's where the shale is. There's no way that they are going to leave if our city "leaders" were to insist that they be responsible with our air and water resources.

Instead, our fine politicos keep bending over backwards to appease the fracking industry because of the jobs, jobs, jobs.  

Sadly (for them), it appears that the federal government is starting to make some noise about how unacceptable the states' fracking rules are.  Here's how the right-leaning Wall Street Journal reports on this development.

From The Wall Street Journal

The Western Energy Alliance industry lobby estimates that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's rules will add at least $1.2 billion to the cost of new wells in 13 states. These costs will be borne primarily by small businesses and energy-producing Indian tribes, which are furious. In response, Mr. Salazar has agreed to extend the comment period on the rules for 60 days. The Obama Administration says the delay is proof of its reasonableness, a point it is trying to stress in this election season.

Note well, however, that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar isn't offering to kill the rules. Meanwhile, other federal agencies ranging from the EPA to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking for ways to justify imposing their own rules on fracking in the name of water quality, worker safety and more.

As Mr. Salazar put it this week, state oversight "isn't good enough for me." If President Obama is re-elected, a sure bet is a tax increase. The second surest bet is that oil and natural gas fracking will face a deluge of new federal costs and bureaucratic orders.

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