In a much-anticipated set of new rules, the U.S. government today unveiled new oversight of so-called "fracking" on public lands. Hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - is the controversial method of injecting high-pressured fluids and solids into the earth's core to enhance drilling for natural gas. New rules, recently adopted by the Idaho Legislature, will allow such methodology as the Gem State pursues a burgeoning natural gas drilling industry.
The U.S. Department of Interior's proposed rules would not affect drilling on private land, where the bulk of exploration is taking place. Still, federal regulators said this morning that they hoped the rules could be used as a template for state oversight.
The proposal requires that companies disclose the fluids used in fracking after completing the process.
"As we continue to offer millions of acres of America's public lands for oil and gas development, it is critical that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.