Hinchey: ‘There’s no need to put [hydraulic fracturing] under the Safe Drinking Water Act’

Got your attention, didn’t we? Actually, the Hinchey we’re referencing here is Bruce, not Maurice. Bruce (no relation, we think) is president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, and today in the Casper Star-Tribune, he suggests that the anti-fracking bill moving through Congress right now would “create an added expense — an estimated $100,000 per well.” He says further:

There’s been well over a million wells drilled and fracked, and not one problem of contamination of groundwater. There’s no need to put [hydraulic fracturing] under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Companies have already proven that not only are they regulated by the state, but they have proven that the process is safe and it works.”

Bruce’s long-lost cousin is Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), a vocal opponent of domestic production of traditional energy resources and chief cosponsor of legislation that aims to bring hydraulic fracturing to a standstill. But even though his legislation seeks to transfer authority currently possessed by states to regulate hydraulic fracturing over to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), don’t for one second think he’s an opponent of states’ rights. This little gem comes from a Hinchey speech on the floor of the US House during a debate last Congress:

That is what they want to do, have the Federal Government step in here on top of the States, deny the States the right that they have under the Constitution to protect the health and safety and welfare of their citizens by passing legislation which preempts all of those State laws. This is a very bad idea and it must be defeated.”

Rep. Hinchey’s Democratic colleague, Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), told The Oklahoman today that the DeGette-Hinchey bill “would be disastrous.” Boren also said “hydraulic fracturing had been used in an estimated 1 million wells and had not posed any problems to drinking water.”

So why is Rep. Hinchey selectively supportive of states’ rights? If Mr. Hinchey believes legislation to deny states the ability to ‘protect the health and safety and welfare of their citizens‘ was ‘very bad,’ why the about face on the state regulated, environmentally sound production of clean-burning natural gas?

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