The Obama administration has made its first steps towards controlling air pollution caused by fracking, setting national standards over air quality in relation to the controversial drilling method.
However, Shrevenport Times noted that these modifications have not come without making concessions to the oil and gas industry, emphasising that piecemeal legislation may need to be relied on in the future by environmentalists concerned over air quality issues. Obama came under criticism when he called for the coordination of federal regulation to ease burdens on producers.
EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement: "By ensuring the capture of gases that were previously released to pollute our air and threaten our climate, these updated standards will protect our health, but also lead to more product for fuel suppliers to bring to market."
An independent report in the UK has recently judged fracking to be a safe process, providing proper safety measures are taken. Operations were halted in the British seaside town of Blackpool after earthquakes were felt by nearby citizens. But the report has judged that these small quakes cause no lasting damage.
Posted by Claire Manning