Oklahoma groups oppose law affecting fracturing

RANDY ELLIS Modified: June 12, 2009 at 4:22 am •  Published: June 12, 2009
Proposed legislation that would increase federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing is drawing strong opposition from two oil and natural gas groups.

"From the loss of tax revenue to the loss of jobs, the restriction of hydraulic fracturing will have a disastrous effect on Oklahoma,” said Mike McDonald, chairman of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.

Michael Smith, executive director of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, called the shift from state to federal regulation "unnecessary” and said it "could greatly inhibit the production of much-needed oil and natural gas resources at a time when our nation’s energy security is critical.”

McDonald and Smith were reacting to a bill introduced Tuesday in Congress that would require companies to disclose the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting fluids under high pressure into underground rock formations to increase the flow of oil and natural gas. It is considered critical to getting natural gas out of shale formations.