by Sam Boxerman, Joel Visser, Jim Wedeking
Washington Legal Foundation
November 14, 2013
The shale oil and gas revolution is a “game changer” for the United States. Experience shows shale oil and gas development is being and can be done safely, as two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrators have acknowledged in testimony before Congress. This is not surprising, as states have been overseeing oil and gas production successfully for decades and have adjusted their own rules to address advances in shale development. Nevertheless, activists have mounted a relentless campaign, claiming hydraulic fracturing will damage the environment because it is “unregulated.” Yet, there already is no shortage of federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. New or proposed federal regulations run the gamut from controlling air emissions to seeking to restrict worker exposure to the sand used in hydraulic fracturing fluid. The question should not be whether there is enough federal regulation, but whether the ever-growing federal regulation will handcuff future development.