Perry Stands Up for State Oversight of Natural Gas Production

Published August 9, 2010

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has gone on the offensive against potential federal government plans to regulate natural gas production through hydraulic fracturing techniques. Speaking with reporters after a July 19 law enforcement meeting in Forth Worth, Perry said the state is doing an appropriate job regulating production and doesn’t need the federal government imposing unnecessary production obstacles in the name of environmental protection.

Supports Fracking
Perry praised hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydraulic fracking, which is an extremely productive method of unlocking natural gas from underground rock formations. Environmental activist groups allege the technique exposes the underground water table to pollution risks. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing have yet to identify any specific instances of it causing significant water pollution, however.

“I am a very strong advocate of hydraulic fracking,” Perry told reporters. “I’ve got great concerns that the federal government is trying to regulate that aspect of our drilling industry. It would basically shut down the oil and gas industry for hydraulic fracking to be outlawed, or frankly, allow radical environmental interests to come in and have a say on how it should or where it can be used by the federal government.”

“I think the state of Texas is doing an appropriate job and I think we’re doing a pretty good job of making sure that companies that have misused the technique are being punished appropriately,” Perry added.

Defending Federalism
Kathleen White, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Natural Resources and the former chair of the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality, says Perry is justified in his concern over federal intervention.

“EPA is outside the reach of its own laws,” said White. “The EPA under the Obama administration, unlike any other administrations I have seen, is really stepping outside rubrics in which they have operated with state regulators.”

“Gov. Perry is taking on—and I think appropriately—a lot of battles against excessive federal intervention that need to be fought,” said White.

Krystle Russin ([email protected]) writes from Texas.