Trump administration to repeal Obama-era rule on fracking

Published: Dec. 28, 2017 at 10:44 PM EST
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The Trump administration is repealing an Obama-era rule that would have set standards for fracking on federal land.

The Interior Department posted a notice of repeal Thursday, one day before the new rules were set to go into effect. It was passed two years ago to address environmental concerns related to hydraulic fracturing. Companies would have been required to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking and take a number of safety steps. But the Interior Department says the rule would be an unnecessary burden that would hold back oil and gas development.

Federal research found that fracking can contaminate groundwater, soil and air, but that incidents are rare. Fracking uses fluids forced underground at high pressure to recover oil and natural gas.

The oil and gas industries are applauding the repeal. but environmentalists say the move can put people and wildlife at risk - and a court challenge is possible.