Groups hit gas industry over 'fracking'

April 9, 2012 at 8:00 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- Environmental groups say the White House must reject attempts by the oil and gas industry to soften upcoming air pollution standards for natural-gas drilling.

Thirteen environmental and public health groups, in a letter to White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, criticized what they said was a "misinformation" campaign by the industry over the regulations.

"The American Petroleum Institute and other industry organizations which have pressured EPA to exempt the sources of nearly all the air pollution from the standards have made unsupportable claims about the cost and impact of these standards," the groups wrote.

Industry groups have said the air pollution standards will impose major economic burdens on companies, while environmental groups have been adamant they are essential to protect public health, The Hill reported Monday.

The regulations would put limits on toxic emissions from wells created with the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," where sand, water and chemicals are injected into the ground to break up rock strata to gain access to valuable natural-gas supplies.

The environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earthjustice, said the upcoming standards were "common sense, in common use already, cost-effective and necessary to protect the public."

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