"With Congress in friendlier hands, oil and gas lobbyists are shifting more of their attention away from Capitol Hill and to a new arena: the federal agencies developing aggressive regulations that will affect how the industry does business. ...
Now, with Republicans in control of the House and partisan gridlock limiting chances for major energy legislation, the industry lobby is following the lead of the Democratic administration as it turns to federal agencies in the executive branch that can deploy regulations with fewer congressional restraints.
The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, is pushing for more oversight of hydraulic fracturing - a technology that is opening up vast opportunities for natural gas production but also drawing complaints that it can contaminate water supplies.
And the Interior Department continues to keep a tight grip on its authority over federal lands and waters - most notably restricting Gulf drilling after the oil spill."