Oil, gas industry offers fracking rules

May 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- Oil and natural gas companies are leading the way in the safe development of shale natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a trade group said.

The Appalachian Shale Recommended Practices Group, which represents 11 oil and natural gas producers in the eastern United States, announced they created standards for the exploration and production of natural gas from regional shale deposits.

The ASRPG standards outline a series of best practices for drilling while giving state regulators "primacy" in addressing hydraulic fracturing.

David Miller, director of standards for the American Petroleum Institute, said it was encouraging to see the industry take the lead in shale gas regulations.

"The oil and natural gas industry continues to lead in efforts that promote safe and environmentally responsible energy production, particularly in those operations that utilize hydraulic fracturing," he said in a statement.

Critics accuse U.S. President Barack Obama of attempting to create burdensome regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing.

The United States has some of the richest deposits of shale natural gas, though critics say fracking can pose a threat to the environment.

"The process has marred landscapes and turned rural communities into sacrifice zones while offering economic benefits to only a lucky few," Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement.

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