Last week at this time we wrote that no one seems to be worried about the possible environmental harm caused by hydrofracking for oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale and Barnett Shale plays in Texas.
Perhaps we spoke too soon.
As Steve Hargreaves reports for CNN Money, at least one entity, which in this case happens to be the Environmental Protection Agency, does seem to be concerned about damage caused to the environment from oil and gas drilling. The EPA has imposed “tightened” regulations on the industry, which require oil and gas companies to capture emissions from new well sites.
Currently, emissions are typically burned at the well site, which is said to contribute to environmental damage. Emissions can continue to be burned until 2015, at which point the oil and gas company operating at the well site must instead capture it.
It’s worth noting that the EPA’s regulations will make emission capture, which is already done in a couple of states, a federal standard across the board, as Hargreaves reports.
“EPA’s action today is a breath of fresh air for every man, woman, and child living in the shadow of the gas drilling boom,” said an environmental attorney. But the regulations also seem to please the oil and gas industry, too, because it has three years in which it can continue to release emissions into the atmosphere.