EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
April 24, 2012
The House Majority recently introduced HR 4402 a bill called the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012. The authors cleverly spell out the purported purpose in a series of whereas clauses that form the bill’s preamble. Ostensibly, the problem wants to solve is a dearth of domestic production of so-called rare earth or critical minerals. These minerals consist mainly of those elements in the bottom two rows of the periodic table and have varied applications in electronics, hybrid technology, renewable energy, and defense industries.
April 5, 2012
Last week, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced S.2268 the Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands Act (FRESH Act). The bill would remove all authority from the federal government to regulate hydraulic fracturing. Even on Federal lands. Instead, states will enjoy the sole province of fracking regulation. Honestly, we should have seen this coming. For months now, many members of Congress have touted the benefits of local fracking regulation and complained about federal government overreach. A number of states with prevalent hydraulic fracturing industries have regulated resource extraction for generations. Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado, for example, contain resource rich lands and populations very familiar with oil and gas development. Along with the extensive experience some regions have in this arena, many state and Congressional officials argue that differences in geology, geography, and hydrology suggest that the more local the regulator- the better.