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Public Statements

Letter to The Honorable Ken Salazar, Secretary for the Department of the Interior

Thirty-two members of the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus called on the Interior Department to refrain from placing any new regulatory burdens on natural gas exploration and production today.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has suggested his agency may seek to impose new rules and regulations on producers using the hydraulic fracturing process, which is used to recover natural gas from unconventional sources. The Caucus, led by co-chairs, Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Dan Boren (D-OK), stated that "hastily proposed regulatory burdens on natural gas will increase energy costs for consumers, suppress job creation in a promising energy sector and hinder our nation's ability to become more energy independent."

The letter continues, "We also would note that the vast majority of scientific evidence shows hydraulic fracturing to be safe, less resource-intensive for the environment than traditional methods, and properly managed and regulated at the state level."

The letters notes that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is acting under orders from Congress, has not yet even completed a study of the hydraulic fracturing process. "[The EPA] has yet to fully review or even gather all the data necessary to complete the congressionally-directed study."

Congressman Tim Murphy said the decision would discourage domestic natural gas production at a time when the country needs it more than ever. "The Administration has already decided to block offshore oil and gas exploration. Making it more difficult to safely access America's natural gas supply will only serve to enrich OPEC and stymie job growth."

Said Congressman Dan Boren: "Circumventing the United States Congress by carte blanche issuing new burdensome regulations on natural gas development will not only hurt the economic recovery -- it's bad policy."

The Congressional Natural Gas Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives dedicated to championing the use of clean, plentiful, domestic natural gas. It informs and educates Members of Congress and the American people about natural gas. Its mission is to work on federal policy that promotes: (1) responsible exploration; (2) safe transmission; and (3) expanded use of natural gas.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As members of the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, we write to express our concerns about reports that the Department of the Interior may seek to impose new regulations on the natural gas extraction process on federal lands and urge you to not institute any new regulatory burdens before the completion of the 2010-2012 Environmental Protection Agency study on hydraulic fracturing.

In the Fiscal Year 2010 budget report, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Conference Committee identified the need for a focused study on the hydraulic fracturing process. As it now stands, EPA has issued voluntary information requests to national and regional hydraulic fracturing service providers and has yet to fully review or even gather all the data necessary to complete the Congressionally-directed study.

We also would note that the vast majority of scientific evidence shows hydraulic fracturing to be safe, less resource-intensive for the environment than traditional methods, and properly managed and regulated at the state level. Consequently, hastily proposed regulatory burdens on natural gas will increase energy costs for consumers, suppress job creation in a promising energy sector, and hinder our nation's ability to become more energy independent.

We entrust that you will proceed in a manner that respects the legislative process and yields to the Congressionally-directed study that the Environmental Protection Agency is currently conducting. Our Caucus looks forward to working with you on this issue during the 112th Congress.

Sincerely,

Tim Murphy (R-PA), Co-Chair, Natural Gas Caucus
Dan Boren (D-OK), Co-Chair, Natural Gas Caucus
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
John Shadegg (R-AZ)
Lee Terry (R-NE)
Dan Burton (R-IN)
Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Jim Costa (D-CA)
Christopher Lee (R-NY)
Jason Altmire (D-PA)
Kevin Brady (R-TX)
John Fleming (R-LA)
John Sullivan (R-OK)
Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Sue Myrick (R-NC)
Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Mark Critz (D-PA)
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Thaddeus McCotter(R-MI)
Denny Rehberg (R-MT)
Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Tom Cole (R-OK)
Gene Green (D-TX)
Wally Herger (R-CA)
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Mike Coffman (R-CO)
Ralph Hall (R-TX)
Mike Ross (D-AR)


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