EPA to Reduce Gas Drilling Pollution
The Obama administration is issuing the first-ever national standards to control air pollution from gas wells that are drilled using a method called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, but not without making concessions to the oil and gas industry. Much of the air pollution from fracked gas wells is vented when the well transitions from drilling to actual production, a three- to 10-day process which is referred to as “completion.” An earlier version of the rule limiting air pollution from gas wells would have required companies to install pollution-reducing equipment immediately after the rule was finalized.
President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address strongly backed natural gas drilling as a clean energy source, and recently announced an executive order calling for coordination of federal regulation to ease burdens on producers. But he has come under criticism by the industry and Republicans for policies they say discourage energy development.