Markey: Senate GOP Shouldn’t Block Fracking Rule

Protections should be improved, but not scrapped, says Senator


WASHINGTON (March 20, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today said that Senate Republicans should not seek to eradicate the new rules on hydraulic fracturing practices on public lands, but rather work to improve the standards from its current form, which does not fully protect public health and the environment. The final rules governing the drilling of oil and natural gas on public and tribal lands in America released today by the Department of Interior include suggestions made by Senator Markey and his colleagues in a letter sent in September, 2014, but does not go far enough on prior disclosure of chemicals before operations begin, and other concerns. Senate Republicans introduced a bill to completely overturn the rules.


Senator Markey, who is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement:


“The Interior Department’s final hydraulic fracturing rule makes some important improvements that had been recommended by me and my Senate colleagues from earlier versions of the rule. However, I still remain concerned that this rule does not go as far as it could to protect public health and the environment.


“We should be leading the way on our public lands in putting forward the strongest possible regulations to protect the safety of workers, the environment and the American people.


“Unlike my Senate Republican colleagues, I don’t think that scrapping these rules and returning to the status quo is the right way to go. The rules governing these modern drilling practices were woefully out of date, and allowing companies to drill on public lands without improvements in safety would be turning a blind eye to the dangers of fracking when left unchecked.


“I will continue working with the administration and my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that we put in place the highest levels of protections for fracking activities on public lands.”


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