Hydraulic Fracturing FAQs
Won't regulations force fracking be done safely?
Fracking is exempt or excluded from most major federal laws protecting environmental health. In the absence of federal oversight, states are empowered to regulate fracking. However, the current state-by-state patchwork of rules and regulations gives little cause for comfort.
Fracking was formally exempted from the Safe Water Drinking Act by the Bush Administration in 2005 via the so-called Halliburton loophole - named after the company formerly led by Vice President Cheney that called for the exemption during Cheney's secret Energy Task Force meetings. Mirror exemptions exist under a host of other major federal regulations, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response Conservation and Recovery Act (CERCLA), the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Superfund law, and the Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).