On April 13 the President signed an Executive Order establishing a ”deputy-level inter-agency working group to coordinate policy and to promote sensible, cost-effective approaches” to “safe and responsible development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources.” For ‘unconventional’ read ‘fracking’. At least thirteen agencies will be involved, from Defense to Agriculture to EPA. In the following statement Sierra Club’s Executive Director responded with a call forclosing of the numerous exemptions from Federal laws that the gas industry currently enjoys.
“The natural gas industry endangers Americans’ health by exploiting numerous loopholes in bedrock environmental laws including in the Safe Drinking Water Act and in multiple Clean Air Act regulations. The President’s commitment to ensuring safe and responsible drilling must include closing these loopholes.
“Experts in the Department of Energy have already provided a road map for putting the federal cop back on the beat, which we trust the Interagency Working Group will implement. That road map includes finalizing EPA’s proposed emissions standards for the industry next week, finally beginning to end the practice of dumping millions of tons of pollution into our air.
“We look forward to working with the newly formed Interagency Working Group to provide the support and policy solutions they need to be successful in protecting American families from an industry run amok.”