PA Sen. Bob Casey Re-introduces Bill Transferring Control of Marcellus Drilling to the Federal Government

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey has re-introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate that would strip away states’ rights, including his home state of Pennsylvania, to manage and protect their own land and natural resources, and instead concentrate that power at the federal level under the Environmental Protection Agency. He calls the legislation “The FRAC Act”—Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals. The bill, if passed (which seems unlikely in the current Congress), would place the practice of high volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) under the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

An exemption dubbed the “Halliburton loophole” in the 2005 energy bill removed the ability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate fracking.

Mr. Casey’s proposed legislation would restore the agency’s oversight and require companies to disclose chemical additives used during fracking to state agencies.*

*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Mar 15, 2011) – Bill would strengthen oversight of fracking