Posted: Oct 20, 2011 10:50 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
BATON ROUGE- More regulations on drilling as it booms in our backyard.
The state wants to know the types of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing or fracking and the feds want rules on how to get rid of the wastewater that process creates.
Fracking is how crews break apart rock to release oil or natural gas. There's a concern the fluid and wastewater could contaminate drinking water. There are a lot more rigs drilling since the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale was found adjacent to Baton Rouge.
The fear is that a tighter grip on industry will choke off chances for growth, which is what many across 150,000 acres of the shale have been hoping for for years.
Landowners across the Baton Rouge area hope new regulations at the state and federal level will add safety to the benefits of drilling.
Dan Collins, with the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Landowners, said, "It's good to see that the government is taking a role, but we hope that they don't step too heavily on the operations."
Industry shares that sentiment, at least when it comes to the state's new rules of revealing fluids used in the fracking form of finding oil.
"Typically we don't support additional regulations, but there's a nationwide effort for companies to be up-front and shed more light on what the chemicals are and we don't really have anything to hide," said Gifford Briggs with Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
The regulation industry doesn't like is the one the EPA is considering now, which calls for getting rid of wastewater developed during the fracking process in a certain way.
Congressman Bill Cassidy agrees.
"I would rather they not be involved in usurping, taking away, the state's responsibility. I think the state's are doing a pretty good job," said Cassidy, (R) Louisiana.
Both say following that rule could cost more for companies, leading them to spend less on more projects, which lead to more potential and more jobs.
Cassidy said, "We shouldn't kill the goose that is laying the golden jobs."
"That means decreased revenues to the parishes, decreased revenues to the landowners, the royalties owners, decreased revenues to the state and that's something we certainly don't want to see happen," said Briggs.
Neither do the landowners of sites like this one, who feel this is the time for the shale to shine.
Word on whether the wells are any good could come in a matter of weeks.