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The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will delay several rule changes until its next formal hearing on June 8.

Included in the rule changes are more stringent reporting requirements regarding chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, a technique to crack gas-bearing rock formations to stimulate gas production.

For decades, the state has regulated the practice. But as hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- has become more commonplace throughout the southern and eastern United States, it has come under more scrutiny.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in March launched a new research effort to investigate the potential adverse impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water quality and public health.

In Wyoming, both state regulators and industry leaders want oversight to remain with the state, while some landowner and environmental groups say that arrangement is too cozy. Although state regulators and Gov. Dave Freudenthal -- who servers on the oil and gas commission -- say they view the new chemical reporting requirements as a way to fend off federal scrutiny, industry still pushed hard to quash the state's effort.

One of industry's chief arguments was that the state's proposed chemical reporting requirements would infringe on proprietary fracking products. The commission has given assurances it can protect such proprietary information.

Contact energy reporter Dustin Bleizeffer at (307) 577-6069 or dustin.bleizeffer@trib.com. Go to http://tribtown.trib.com/DustinBleizeffer/blog to read Dustin’s energy blog

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