Congressman Bob Gibbs, Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, released the following statement after holding a hearing regarding the regulatory approach of hydraulic fracturing:
"Today's hearing confirmed that the Clean Water Act is functioning as it was designed to with states adopting their own regulatory frameworks, allowing them to respond best to problems based on their own local geology and conditions," stated Chairman Gibbs.
Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, testified that the federal government coming in and setting a one-size-fits-all standard would not work because the state is in the best position to respond to challenges based on local factors:
"Simply put, because of our long history of oil and gas development and comprehensive regulatory structure, Pennsylvania does not need federal intervention to ensure an appropriate balance between resources development and environmental protection is struck Pennsylvania is already showing that the balance of environmental protection and the development of this world class resources is being accomplished," said Mr. Krancer.
Gibbs continued, "This hearing showed that three different state regulators with three different standards have all been able to achieve this balance. This state-centric regulatory approach is clearly working as there have been 1.2 million fracking operations and not a single incident of water contamination."
"The Clean Water Act's intends for the US EPA to collaborate with states and facilitate their implementation of their regulatory standards, performing oversight when a problem arises. However, as no problem has arisen from fracking, their involvement in this issue is just another attempt to pursue a radical, anti-drilling agenda. They are threatening America's, and especially Ohio's, economic future with more redundant, job-killing regulations that do nothing to enhance the protection of public health and the environment," said Gibbs.
"In numerous areas around our nation where shale gas formations are found, there has been an economic boom resulting from gas exploration and production," said Gibbs. "Not only is America getting a relatively cheap and less polluting source of energy, but the activity is generating thousands of jobs in the direct production, refinement and service sectors."
Thomas Stewart, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association (OOGA) echoed Chairman Gibbs' point on the economic benefits of the natural gas industry, saying, "The new and efficient development of natural gas from the resources shale plays is providing the American consumer an incredible energy bargain providing a fuel priced at 22 percent of its intrinsic energy value, a trend that the marketplace indicates will continue into the future."