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The feds & fracking: Beware nationalization

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.

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