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Exxon Mobil Corporation Message Board

  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jun 6, 2013 2:17 PM Flag

    Feds give industry, environmentalists more time to study drilling rule

    June 6, 2013 at 9:07 am by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

    U.S. regulators are giving the oil industry and other stakeholders more time to weigh in on a controversial proposal to stiffen standards for wells drilled on federal lands, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell pledged Thursday.

    At issue is a proposed rule from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management that aims to boost the integrity of oil and gas wells to prevent contamination, would force companies to disclose the chemicals they pump underground and would make drillers adopt plans for managing water at the sites.

    Both environmentalists and oil industry leaders had pleaded for extra time to examine the 171-page proposal unveiled last month.

    Jewell said she would allow an extra 60 days for stakeholders to vet the proposed rule, giving a full three months for review.

    “That will give ample time for people to express their views on it,” Jewell said, “but we do need to get on with (updating) this regulation that has been over 30 years in place (as) technology has moved forward.”

    During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Jewell said the extension was designed “to provide an opportunity for people to comment on those rules, to determine whether it is problematic for them.”

    An extra two months should be plenty, Jewell said.

    “I think that will be plenty of time for them to get comments in,” Jewell told reporters after the hearing. “Many of them have already formulated their comments. It just gives them a little breathing space.”

    The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management proposed a similar regulation last year but then withdrew it after a flood of critical responses. Stakeholders had 120 days to weigh in on last year’s proposal.

    The new measure has drawn widespread opposition from the oil industry even though it includes a number of concessions geared toward that sector. F


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