WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Thursday it will require companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations.
The new "fracking" rule replaces a draft proposed last year that was withdrawn amid industry complaints that federal regulation could hinder an ongoing boom in natural gas production.
The new draft rule relies on an online database used by Colorado and 10 other states to track the chemicals used in fracking operations. FracFocus.org is a website formed by industry and intergovernmental groups in 2011 that allows users to gather well-specific data on thousands of drilling sites.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources holds first of three forums on natural gas issues, focusing on infrastructure, transportation, research and innovation. FERC Office of Energy Projects Director Jeff Wright, INGAA President Don Santa, Jr., CenterPoint Energy Executive Vice President Scott Prochazka among witnesses.
The lineup of witnesses at the three natural gas roundtable forums starting next week before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee includes numerous industry, government and environmental group representatives.
The witnesses for the forums were announced Thursday by Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and ranking Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The first forum is scheduled next Tuesday and is to focus on infrastructure, transportation, research and innovation.
Two former Democratic senators say Congress and the Obama administration should not stand in the way of natural gas exports, adding to calls by proponents for the market to regulate prices.
The former senators -- Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana -- plan to tell a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Tuesday that shipping costs and demand will limit domestic price increases, according to their prepared remarks.
House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing, "U.S. Energy Abundance: Exports and the Changing Global Energy Landscape." Former Sen. J. Bennett Johnston, former Sen. Byron Dorgan among witnesses.
House Republicans are moving to show their support for natural gas exports and opposition to planned hydraulic fracturing regulations on federal lands.
The House Natural Resources Committee scheduled a hearing for May 8 that called the Interior Department's expected fracturing regulations a "recipe for government waste, duplication and delay." Separately, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is to hold a hearing on May 7 to stress the economic benefits of liquefied natural gas exports.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane said the NRC can't consider a public hearing on the San Onofre nuclear plant until June, when an appeal period of an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruling ends.