Interior Department drafting rules for hydraulic fracturing
BY Wire Reports
Thursday, October 06, 2011
10/06/11 at 2:15 AM
The Interior Department may issue rules on hydraulic fracturing in about a month aimed at ensuring the natural gas extraction process is conducted safely, Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday.
"I think hydraulic 'fracking' can be done in a safe way, and environmentally responsible way," Salazar said during a meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C. "What we will include in the rule is still in formation."
In fracking, the drilling company injects millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand into subterranean rock formations to liberate trapped gas.
Opponents, including environmental groups, cite failures and accidents that lead to tainted drinking water and polluted streams.
Industry advocates say the process hasn't caused a major incident for more than 60 years, though current techniques were introduced less than a decade ago.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: "Hydraulic 'fracking' can be done in a safe way, and environmentally responsible way."