A Nevada panel passed laws that will regulate fracking activities in the state. The Commission on Mineral Resources approved the laws on Thursday in Elko city, triggering backlash from environmentalists who argue that it will contaminate groundwater supplies, consume excess water and trigger earthquakes.
However, supporters argued that the fears are being blown out of proportion, and that fracking, or hydraulic activities, will boost Nevada’s economy. The 2013 legislature approved a law that requires fracking regulations to be adopted by January 2015.
Kate Fay, who works with energy firm Noble Energy Inc, welcomed the new rules. Her firm is still exploring for oil in northeastern part of the state.
“Noble Energy believes these regulations are tough but they’re workable, that they will help ensure that all oil and gas operators in Nevada follow best practices to protect public health and the environment,” she said, as quoted by the Elko Daily Free Press. “We think it will ensure the state has a strong role in enforcing these rules.”
However, Bob Fulkerson, who works with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, castigated the decision, saying the commission was packed with members with links to extractive industries such as mining and oil. He said the decision was rushed, and involved minimal public input.
The decision was also opposed by farmers and tribal members, who are concerned that fracking may deplete whatever is left of the scarce water resources in Nevada, which is experiencing one of its worst droughts in years.
Fracking involves pumping a mixture of water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into underground shale formations to fracture them and free oil and gas trapped within for extraction.To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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