Hydraulic Fracturing in the 112th Congress

 

Markey, Waxman, DeGette: Loopholes in Federal Oversight of Oil and Gas Drilling Demand Congressional Action
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released two reports on oil and gas development of shale resources and the utilization of hydraulic fracturing technology.  GAO completed the reports in response to a bicameral request made by Reps. Edward J. Markey, Henry A. Waxman, Diana DeGette, and four other Senators.  These reports come at a time of increased domestic oil and gas production and environmental concerns related to hydraulic fracturing.
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Reps. Waxman, Markey, and DeGette Statement on the EPA Draft Rule on Use of Diesel Fuel in Hydraulic Fracturing, May 4, 2012
“Last year, an investigation by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Democrats revealed that oil and gas companies had used at least 32 million gallons of diesel fuel or hydraulic fracturing fluids containing diesel fuel over a five year period. This investigation also found that none of the companies sought—and no state and federal regulators issued—permits for diesel fuel use in hydraulic fracturing, as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. By issuing this guidance, EPA is taking a long-overdue step to explain existing requirements for the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing fluids. We look forward to examining the proposed guidance in more detail.” 
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Ranking Members Waxman and DeGette Urge EPA to Review Study of Health Threats from Gas Drilling Operations, April 3, 2012
Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting that the EPA consider a new study by the Colorado School of Public Health that reveals potential increased health threats from exposure to toxic chemicals near natural gas wells. The EPA is currently finalizing new standards for natural gas operations to reduce emissions that can cause cancer and other serious health effects.
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Reps. Waxman, Markey, and DeGette Call For Hearing on Shale Gas Production Report, November 14, 2011
Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Edward J. Markey, and Diana DeGette sent a letter to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton requesting a hearing on the final report by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Subcommittee on Shale Gas Production (SEAB) on steps the industry and regulators should take to ensure that shale gas development proceeds responsibly and safely. 
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Reps. Waxman, Markey, and DeGette Report Updated Hydraulic Fracturing Statistics to EPA, October 25, 2011
Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Ed Markey, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to update her on findings reported by oil and gas service companies on hydraulic fracturing fluids. Two companies informed the Committee that they inadvertently provided inaccurate data in response to the Committee’s request. As a result, the original analysis on the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing under estimated the true extent of use by more than 500,000 gallons. 
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Democratic Leaders Underscore Significance of EPA’s Diesel Fuel Definition in Upcoming Hydraulic Fracturing Guidance, August 8, 2011
Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Edward J. Markey, Diana DeGette, and Rush Holt sent a letter to the EPA urging the agency to craft a definition of “diesel fuel” for its upcoming guidance on permitting hydraulic fracturing activities that is broad enough to protect human health and require permitting for all diesel fuels, including those that contain benzene and other toxic components.
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Democrats Press for Committee Hearing on Hydraulic Fracturing, May 26, 2011
Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Edward J. Markey, and Diana DeGette sent a letter to Chairman Fred Upton and Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns requesting a committee hearing on the use of hydraulic fracturing in natural gas production. In the letter, the committee democratic leaders note that “investigative reports we have released, peer-reviewed studies of shale gas production, news reports of spills and contamination, and regulatory action in three different agencies have raised numerous concerns about the practice of hydraulic fracturing,” and indicate that a hearing would give committee members a better understanding of the latest developments and information on the promise and potential threats to the environment and public health posed by this practice. 
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Committee Democrats Release New Report Detailing Hydraulic Fracturing Products, April 16, 2011
Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Edward J. Markey, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette released a new report that summarizes the types, volumes, and chemical contents of the hydraulic fracturing products used by the 14 leading oil and gas service companies. The report contains the first comprehensive national inventory of chemicals used by hydraulic fracturing companies during the drilling process. 
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Waxman, Markey, and DeGette Investigation Finds Continued Use of Diesel in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids, January 31, 2011
Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Edward J. Markey, and Diana DeGette sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding the results of an investigation into the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing fluids. The congressional investigation finds that oil and gas service companies have injected over 32 million gallons of diesel fuel or hydraulic fracturing fluids containing diesel fuel in wells in 19 states between 2005 and 2009. In addition, the investigation finds that no oil and gas service companies have sought – and no state and federal regulators have issued – permits for diesel fuel use in hydraulic fracturing, which appears to be a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. 
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Hydraulic Fracturing in the 111th Congress