While the proposed rules are being applauded by critics of fracking, they "fall short of environmentalists’ biggest demands for oversight of fracking operations—let alone some groups’ calls for an all-out ban. Interior’s proposal would apply only to land owned by the federal government or Indian tribes, so it wouldn’t end the current patchwork of state laws and local ordinances governing the practice in hot spots like Pennsylvania, south Texas and North Dakota," Schor writes.
The industry and its supporters in Congress call the rules an overreach, "arguing that greens are massively exaggerating the dangers and that states are adequately regulating the industry already," Schor reports. For a story about the rules from ProPublica, which has been following the issue for years, click here.
UPDATE, March 25: Only 8 percent of U.S. drilling occurs on federal , but the rules "signal a continued willingness after President Obama's last election to set aside oil industry lobbying points, even if his administration also ignored some pleas from green groups," Mike Soraghan reports for Environment & Energy News. "And by sitting federal land managers in judgment of state rules, it may come close to being a national standard for all drilling rules to be measured against." (Read more; subscription may be required)