Rep. Bishop Presses Interior Secretary on Fracking Comments

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 06: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) speaks during a news conference with Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) in the U.S. Capitol August 6, 2008 in Washington, DC. Putnam and other House Republicans are calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to reconvene the chamber and vote on the American Energy Act, a Republican bill designed to address America's dependence on foreign oil. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
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Clare Foran
Dec. 6, 2013, 5:01 a.m.

Rep. Rob Bish­op of Utah, con­tin­ued his cri­ti­cism of the Na­tion­al Parks Ser­vice on Thursday for claims made by the agency that hy­draul­ic frac­tur­ing could pose health and en­vir­on­ment­al haz­ards.

In a let­ter sent to In­teri­or De­part­ment Sec­ret­ary Sally Jew­ell, the Re­pub­lic­an asked the sec­ret­ary to weigh in on the Park Ser­vice’s an­nounce­ment last month that it would form­ally with­draw pub­lic com­ments sub­mit­ted in re­sponse to the Bur­eau of Land Man­age­ment’s pro­posed reg­u­la­tions for hy­draul­ic frac­tur­ing.

The com­ments cited a New York Times op-ed by Cor­nell Uni­versity pro­fess­or An­thony In­graf­fea about leak­age of the po­tent green­house gas meth­ane from gas wells de­veloped through frack­ing. The op-ed ar­gued that the leaks are bad enough and dif­fi­cult enough to con­trol that nat­ur­al gas de­vel­op­ment will worsen cli­mate change des­pite the fact that nat­ur­al gas emits less car­bon than coal when burned to cre­ate elec­tri­city.

In Novem­ber, NPS Dir­ect­or Jonath­an Jar­vis said the com­ments had not been prop­erly vet­ted and moved to with­draw them.

“I am deeply dis­ap­poin­ted and troubled by NPS’s ac­tions,” Bish­op writes in his let­ter to Jew­ell. “The com­ments from NPS have per­petu­ated a false nar­rat­ive that hy­draul­ic frac­tur­ing and well stim­u­la­tion on fed­er­al and In­di­an lands lack suf­fi­cient reg­u­la­tion and that strin­gent fed­er­al dir­ect­ives are needed. That com­ment­ary couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth.”

Bish­op is call­ing on the In­teri­or sec­ret­ary to “promptly act on the re­quest” from Jar­vis to with­draw the com­ments, and “en­sure the com­ments are with­drawn from the re­cord and not con­sidered as the De­part­ment of In­teri­or and BLM com­pletes the fi­nal reg­u­la­tions.”

Read the full let­ter here.

Ben Geman contributed to this article.
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