Bloomberg News

Rule for U.S. Fracking May Be Issued in Month, Salazar Says

October 05, 2011

(Updates with comment from Salazar in second paragraph.)

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Interior Department may issue a rule on hydraulic fracturing in about a month, aimed at ensuring the natural-gas extraction process is conducted safely, Secretary Ken Salazar said.

“I think hydraulic fracking can be done in a safe way, and environmentally responsible way,” Salazar said today during a meeting with reporters in Washington. “What we will include in the rule is still in formation.”

Fracking, used by companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Southwestern Energy Co., injects millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand into subterranean rock formations to liberate trapped gas.

Opponents including environmental groups cite failures and accidents that lead to tainting drinking water. Industry advocates say the process hasn’t caused a major incident for more than 60 years, though current techniques were introduced less than a decade ago.

--Editors: Judy Pasternak, Steve Geimann

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Washington at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net


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