Natural-gas companies are taking concerns about looming Interior Department “fracking” regulations to the White House with efforts that include a meeting between a major producer and the Obama administration’s top regulatory official.
The recent meetings — which include trade groups and big players like Exxon and Anadarko Petroleum — are part of a wider industry push to ensure that regulation of the development method doesn’t create what the companies consider burdensome requirements that stymie production.
Interior is readying to propose rules to govern fracking, which is short for hydraulic fracturing, that occurs on public lands. The rules are expected to require disclosure of chemical ingredients used in the fracking process, and also address well integrity and water management.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Chairman Jim Hackett and other company officials met April 3 with Cass Sunstein, who heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Anadarko, according to a presentation provided to OMB, fears that the rules could lead to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of annual delays for industry projects on public lands, and warns of “onerous” reporting requirements.
The presentation also cites concerns that Interior could deny fracking from occurring at wells that have already been drilled.