Friday, May 28, 2010

NATURAL GAS: DeGette withdraws fracking amendment

E&E Publishing via Greenwire
Paul Quinlan, E&E reporter
May 26, 2010

"Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette withdrew a proposed amendment today from House water legislation that would have expanded regulation of a controversial oil and gas production technique some say has contributed to groundwater pollution.

DeGette's amendment to a water-infrastructure bill (H.R. 5320), which the Energy and Commerce Committee went on to pass with only one no-vote, would have required drillers under the Safe Drinking Water Act to disclose the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing to state regulators or U.S. EPA.

DeGette, who has led House efforts to better regulate the practice, said she believed such reporting would be helpful to both an ongoing committee investigation and a two-year EPA investigation into the practice also under way. But she ultimately withdrew the measure, saying she had been contacted by industry representatives who suggested that compromise language was possible.

"We're going to work with the committee staff and the industry to have some compromise language," DeGette said.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who chairs the committee and had negotiated extensively with committee Republicans over other controversial amendments to the water bill, acknowledged the need to investigate and cited the parallel EPA and committee investigations before asking DeGette to withdraw the amendment.

"This is an issue that merits further consideration," Waxman said. "Now is not the right time for this change."' More>>>>

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