Defending the Obama administrations drive for federal regulation of fracking, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said on Monday that the United States must toughen up its rules to protect the environment.
State level oversight of hydraulic fracturing or fracking is not sufficient and criticism leveled at the Obama administration for its proposed rules is not valid, Salazar told Reuters in an interview.
“I think the criticism is simply wrong,” Salazar said on Statoil’s Kristin oil and gas platform in the North Sea, about a 100 kilometers offshore Norway.
“There are some who are saying that it’s not something we ought to do, it should be left up to the states. That’s not good enough for me because states are at very different level, some have zero, some have decent rules.”
The Obama administration unveiled long-awaited rules in May to bolster oversight on public lands of oil and natural gas drilling using fracking technology, running into criticism it was creating a duplicate layer of bureaucracy and infringing on states’ rights.
Some energy companies also oppose its plans to require the full disclosure of the chemicals they use in fracking, which they regard as proprietary information.