ShareThis Page

The feds & fracking: Beware nationalization

| Saturday, April 21, 2012

Industry groups welcoming a new White House approach to "unconventional domestic natural gas resources" -- think hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus shale -- must remain wary of greater, more centralized government control.

An April 13 executive order from President Obama created an "interagency working group" that includes the Environmental Protection Agency and eight Cabinet departments. It ostensibly recognizes states as primary regulators of "safe and responsible" natural gas development.

The White House released industry statements hailing better communication and coordination and less overlap among federal agencies. The Marcellus Shale Coalition says it's "eager to provide real-time, on-the-ground insight ... to ensure ... commonsense regulations ... ."

But by sharing its far-left "green" agenda with environmental extremists who demonize "fracking," what "common sense" has this administration shown on energy?

If this interagency group crosses the line -- dividing government facilitation from government control -- it will bring America to the brink of a slippery slope that leads to nationalization of the natural gas industry. That's a line that the industry must not let this White House -- or any other -- cross.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.