The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday took a new step in enacting President Trump's executive order to roll back Obama-era energy regulations by granting industry petitions to reconsider methane emission rules for fracking.
"EPA is continuing to follow through with President Trump's Energy Independence Executive Order," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "American businesses should have the opportunity to review new requirements, assess economic impacts and report back, before those new requirements are finalized."
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KOSSE, Texas -- In a deepening pit in this small town southeast of Waco, workers aim a high-pressure water cannon that reduces small hills of claylike sand into a watery slurry that is filtered, processed, dried into fine particles and loaded onto trucks bound for hydraulic-fracturing operations across Texas.
It will take up to 1,000 trucks to haul enough of this sand to frack a single large well.
As drilling has recovered in recent months, particularly in West Texas' Permian Basin, the sand mining industry has exploded.
Over the past year oil companies have discovered volumes on Alaska’s North Slope totaling as much as five billion barrels or more of recoverable oil. This is a 14% increase in U.S. proven reserves, based on recent estimates, which is no small thing.
One discovery, “Horseshoe,” made this year by the Spanish company Repsol REP, -0.78% REPYY, -1.23% in partnership with Denver-based Armstrong Oil and Gas, is the largest new U.S. find in more than 30 years. It is estimated at 1.2 billion barrels, and comes just after a find by ConocoPhillips COP, -1.66% in January, called “Willow,” evaluated at 300 million barrels.
Both of these are dwarfed by “Tulimaniq,” a spectacular discovery drilled by Dallas-based Caelus Energy in the shallow state waters of Smith Bay, about 120 miles northwest of Prudhoe Bay, in October 2016. Caelus has confirmed a total accumulation of as much as 10 billion barrels of light, mobile oil, with 3-4 billion barrels possibly recoverable at current prices of about $50 per barrel.
Despite what its critics claim, fracking is safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s five-year study of oil and gas production is crucial to the debate over fracking. Based on data from more than 600 sources, EPA found no evidence of significant groundwater contamination related to fracking.
In addition, some of fracking’s strongest advocates came from the Obama administration. Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who has personally dealt with fracking wells, has openly criticized local and state fracking bans. Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has praised fracking as an environmental positive.
And a study published by the National Academy of Sciences has also confirmed that fracking is safe. A team of scientists found that no groundwater or aquifer pollution resulted from fracking.
A new University of Texas (UT) poll found a sizable jump in the number of Americans who support hydraulic fracturing.
The poll found 43 percent of Americans support fracking, higher than the 42 percent who oppose it. The percentage of Americans who support fracking jumped three points since October, and opposition fell by the same margin in that time.
The poll is a semiannual survey UT conducts in October and March, asking 2,013 American consumers a wide array of questions on energy issues. UT funds the poll through a “variety of sources, including executive education programs and corporate and individual donors” and “donors have no influence on the way the poll is conducted.”
“The more people become familiar with fracking, the more they recognize that it is critical for our economy, our energy security, and the advances we are making in reducing air pollution,” Steve Everley, a spokesman for Texans for Natural Gas and was not involved with the poll, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Scientific studies from regulatory bodies, academics, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all agree the’s no evidence fracking contaminates drinking water.
Even studies financed by environmentalists found fracking had no effect on water quality. A three-year study by the University of Cincinnati, published last February and financed by environmentalists, found fracking couldn’t contaminate groundwater.
With a proposed ban on fracking making some progress in the Florida Legislature this year, a focus on facts is in order. Fracking creates good jobs, it helps keep our environment cleaner, and it makes energy more affordable. It also keeps us from being dependent on foreign sources of energy. Greater energy independence means increased national security. There is also is no evidence that fracking contaminates drinking water resources.
Another fact to consider is that for far too long, far-left, anti-energy environmentalists have been working to discredit the American energy industry, the same industry that keeps our homes and businesses up and running and our vehicles on the road. I hope legislators will take all the facts into account and reject a ban on fracking.
Iraq has assured OPEC it will fully comply with an agreement to cut oil supply in order to bolster crude prices, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said on Sunday in Baghdad.
Iraq's compliance stands now at 98 percent, the nation's oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi told reporters, after addressing a conference in the Iraqi capital, also attended by Barkindo.
Compliance with the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC producers at the end of last year to cut supply is "encouraging," Barkindo told the forum.
General compliance with supply cuts by the oil producers was 86 percent in January and 94 percent in February, he added.
The market is already balancing, Barkindo said, adding stocks of crude were coming down.
Luaibi said he was satisfied with the existing deal, but declined to say whether Iraq would support an extension, leaving it to an OPEC ministerial meeting planned in May.
As oil prices have risen to about $50 a barrel and rigs have returned to U.S. shale fields, services companies have begun to rebound. Just over a week ago, Halliburton of Houston, which slashed some 40,000 jobs worldside between 2014 and 2016, said it was hiring again, adding 2,000 jobs in the U.S. in the first quarter.