NEW YORK The Obama
administration released draft rules Friday that would require
companies to publicly disclose what chemicals they use in
hydraulic fracturing operations on public lands.
Currently, operators are not
required to disclose the chemicals they use on federal land,
where approximately 90 percent of the wells drilled use
hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," techniques. The proposed
rules would require public disclosure of chemicals used after
fracturing operations have been completed.
The draft rules, developed by
the Bureau of Land Management, also would require operators to
develop plans for managing flowback waters and to verify that
their wells meet construction standards.
"As we continue to offer
millions of acres of Americas public lands for oil and
gas development, it is critical that the public have full
confidence that the right safety and environmental protections
are in place," Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar said
in a statement. "The proposed rules will modernize our
management of well stimulation activitiesincluding
hydraulic fracturingto make sure that fracturing
operations conducted on public and Indian lands follow
common-sense industry best practices."
There will be a 60-day public
comment period once the proposed rules are published in the
Many in the steel industry call
shale gas a "game-changer," but have stressed that regulations
on fracking may cause opposition to the development of