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 »
The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."
Sources tell CNN that longtime Democratic operative Ron Klain, who has been Vice President Biden's chief of staff, is "high on the list of prospects" to be chief of staff in a Clinton White House. "John Podesta, the campaign chairman, has signaled his interest in joining the Cabinet, perhaps as Energy secretary."