"U.S. Interior Needs To Strengthen Fracking Rules: Lawmakers"

"U.S. Democrats in the House of Representatives urged the Obama administration on Wednesday to expand proposed regulations for fracking for natural gas, saying companies should be required to reveal the chemicals to be used in the process prior to drilling."

"Calling the Interior Department's draft rules for fracking on federal lands 'a good first step,' a group of 38 lawmakers called for disclosure of chemicals before and after drilling takes place.

'Increasing transparency by requiring the disclosure of all chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process is an important start to what we hope will be broader, comprehensive energy development policies that will embrace best practices for both traditional and renewable energy development,' the lawmakers said in a letter to the Interior Department.

The letter was spearheaded by Representatives Maurice Hinchey, Diana DeGette, Jared Polis and Raúl Grijalva, all proponents of tighter regulation of the fracking drilling technique.

The appeal from Democrats ratchets up pressure on the Obama administration, which has tried to walk a fine line between backing rapidly increase shale gas production and responding to environmental concerns about the development."

Ayesha Rascoe reports for Reuters June 21, 2012.

Source: Reuters, 06/21/2012