By Emma J. Hinnigan

On June 10, 2009, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) reaffirmed its strong stance that the states remain best positioned to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing for the production of oil and natural gas. The IOGCC’s response comes on the heels of two bills introduced in the House and the Senate calling for the repeal of the exemption of hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which would effectively give the federal government jurisdiction over the regulation of the technology. Hydraulic fracturing plays a major role in the development of unconventional oil and natural gas resources, and some claim the process contaminates underground drinking water sources. The Executive Director of the IOGCC, Carl Michael Smith, explained that states do a “superb job of protecting human health and the environment through sound regulation.” Smith warned that an “unnecessary shift to federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing could greatly inhibit the production of much-needed oil and natural gas resources when our nation’s energy security is critical.”

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