The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to assure environmentalists that it hasn’t dropped the ball on oversight of hydraulic fracturing.
A letter from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to the Natural Resources Defense Council vows the agency will take steps on several fronts to boost the environmental safety of fracking, the oil-and-gas extraction method that’s enabling U.S. energy production to soar.
“The EPA is moving forward on several initiatives to provide regulatory clarity with respect to existing laws and using existing authorities where appropriate to enhance public health and environmental safeguards,” McCarthy writes in a Jan. 10 letter.
The newsletter EnergyWire, which reported on the letter earlier Wednesday, notes that McCarthy is responding to a September letter from NRDC’s president about EPA’s decision to drop water-contamination enforcement cases and probes in three states in recent years.
McCarthy’s letter defends those decisions while touting various pending initiatives.
They include planned permitting “guidance” on fracking activities that use diesel fuels; the agency’s ongoing study of the effects of fracking on drinking-water resources; and support for planned Interior Department regulations that will govern fracking on public lands.
And McCarthy says EPA hasn’t forgotten about plans, announced in 2011, to craft regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act to obtain more data from industry on chemicals used in fracking.
“The EPA will launch a stakeholder- and public-engagement process to seek input on the design and scope of such chemical reporting,” McCarthy writes.
Beyond that, she notes that EPA “anticipates moving forward” with revisions to wastewater regulations to provide more controls on discharges from oil-and-gas development that uses fracking.
The letter touts prior EPA actions, including 2012 air-pollution rules for hydraulically fractured wells. Check it out here.
What We're Following See More »
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given up her last remaining duty at this week's convention. Now, she's told her hometown newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that she will not gavel in the convention today. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will do the honors instead. "I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz said.
Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."
A group of delegates loyal to Bernie Sanders is actively exploring how to challenge Tim Kaine's nomination for the vice presidency. A lead of the group "said he hoped the Democratic National Committee releases information within hours on how to submit a challenger to Kaine, which he said would require the signatures of 300 delegates. He said they have until Wednesday morning to file a challenge to Kaine and stressed that while his group would take any requests from the Sanders campaign under consideration, the delegate group is an independent organization."
Here are some more numbers out of Utah that should frighten Donald Trump—and give hope to Gary Johnson. "An internal poll conducted for Rep. Mia Love two weeks ago found Trump at 29 percent, Clinton at 27 percent" and Libertarian candidate Johnson at 26 percent. "That was, however, before Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence." Utah party chairman James Evans said that move ought to clinch the state for Trump. "Utahns are going to come through because the level of distaste for Hillary is so deep," he said.