February 22, 2013

State vs Federal Regulations

There is a sense of urgency in the air as conversations, meetings, rallies, reports increase in volume over the HVHF issues.  The intensity of arguments on both sides of the coin are increasing and battle lines are being drawn.

Just recently, a series of meetings were held in Washington DC with members from the oil and gas industry and environmental activist groups to put forth their arguments before a draft ruling is finalized regarding HVHF on public lands.  Megan Wilson of The Hill did an excellent summary article on the events of these various meetings.

One particular sentence struck deep:
The industry has been to Capitol Hill several times recently to make the case for less federal regulation, arguing state-level oversight will be sufficient to protect public safety.
Anyone who has followed the controversies of high volume hydraulic fracturing for the past few years knows two important realizations:
1.  State regulations are more industry influenced and directed than citizen/environment protections.
2.  The affects of HVHF cross state lines and thus cannot be regulated by singular state laws.

Any industry that transverses every corner of this nation cannot be left to it's own regulation through state by state laws.    The practice of the oil and gas industry operations includes secrecy, political influence, massive dollars for lobby and marketing efforts - to name a few.  Therefore it is imperative that we have a strong voice for a national policy and full protection through the Environmental Protection Agency.   Political efforts to reduce the regulatory effectiveness of the EPA are a direct attack on the health of our environment and our citizens.    We cannot let that happen.

One last thought:  no law on Earth, whether it is federal or state, will ever resolve toxic chemical contamination or the permanent destruction of fresh water.  Paying a fine or going to jail does not remove the toxicity from the Earth. When the water is gone, it's gone.

Bureau of Land Management, Interior  Supplemental Notice of Proposed rulemaking


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