New Federal Fracking Rules in Effect

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

There's new federal rules on fracking for drillers across West Texas and the Nation.

The new rules are meant to cut down on pollution.

The new standards were issued on Wednesday.

They are the first ones aimed at limiting pollution from wells drilled using the fracking method.

Fracking involves using high pressure water and chemicals to widen fissures in rocks to extract oil or natural gas out.

Environmental Protection Agency officials say the new rules will make sure pollution from gas wells is controlled without slowing the production of natural gas.

But the White House made one concession, drillers will get an additional two years to comply with the standards and wells that are drilled in low-pressure areas will be exempt.

The president strongly backs natural gas drilling as a clean energy source but he's been criticized by the industry and by Republicans for policies that they say discourage energy development.