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API backs state leadership in shale

Sept. 20, 2012 at 8:25 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The American Petroleum Institute announced support for a Senate bill that would keep authority over shale energy development in state hands.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., introduced the Empower States Act that would keep state governments in charge of regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking. He said the geology of each state is different.

"The legislation also recognizes that states have a long record of effectively regulating oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing, with good environmental stewardship," he said in a statement.

API President Jack Gerard said Hoeven's legislation recognizes state leadership in resource development.

"The industry supports sensible and effective regulation but an overlay of one-size-fits-all federal regulation or a maze of duplicative regulations from multiple agencies on hydraulic fracturing is unnecessary and counterproductive," he said in a statement.

Critics of the energy policy advocated by U.S. President Barack Obama say his administration is pressing for regulatory roadblocks to domestic energy production.

A boom in shale natural gas exploration in the United States sparked concerns about the safety of techniques used for extraction. Chemicals used in the process may present a risk to the environment.

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