A surrogate for the Obama campaign praised states’ abilities to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, even as the administration prepares to roll out federal rules on the practice.
Elgie Holstein, an energy adviser for the Obama campaign, said Sunday on Platts Energy Week TV that “the states are doing a good job” with overseeing natural gas drilling.
Fracking injects a high pressure mixture of chemicals, sand and water into tight rock formations to unlock natural gas. It has drawn criticism from environmentalists who believe the practice contaminates groundwater and leads to seismic activity.
The Obama administration is crafting regulations that will impose new controls on fracking on federal lands. The public comment period on the Bureau of Land Management's proposal ended last week.
“This is a big issue everywhere and I don’t think any governor or state legislature would want to treat this cavalierly, and that’s great,” Holstein said.
He added, though, that federal oversight was needed to bring uniform regulations and said the campaign would not support devolving control of federal lands to the states.
"I can’t imagine people in the oil-and-gas industry want a patchwork quilt of different state laws and approaches to administering federal lands,” Holstein said.