Obama Administration Sneak Attacks Fracking Operations Through DOT Regulation
The left hates fracking, because fracking has destroyed the “peak oil” myth. Peak oil, the idea that one day soon we would catastrophically run out of oil, was the chief justification for trillions of dollars spent on “green energy” initiatives. But as is always the case with these sort of Malthusian calculations, they left out humanity’s seemingly endless capacity for invention and innovation. Thanks to fracking and other advancements in oil and gas production techniques, there are now entire oceans of fossil fuel energy available for our use right here in America.
So now the left is seeking to destroy fossil fuel energy production through regulation. For the moment an outright ban on fracking seems unlikely, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. Just as the federal government isn’t ever likely to change the law and put an outright ban on gun ownership, they can accomplish something equivalent by regulating gun ownership and possession so thoroughly as to make it impossible to do, which is how it’s done in places like Washington DC and Chicago.
That same attitude is being applied to fracking. The feds may not have the juice to ban fracking right now, but they can sure make it hard to do by changing other regulations. Case in point, trucking regulations:
The EPA is still conducting studies that environmentalists hope will someday justify draconian regulations on fracking. Enter Obama’s Transportation Department. By suddenly reinterpreting a 50-year-old rule that limits truck drivers to 11 hours on the work site at a stretch, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has delivered an unexpected victory for environmental activists.
Truckers on drilling sites spend hours each day waiting around until one rig or another needs water or sand. This is why, ever since the 11-hour trucking safety rule was adopted in 1962, truckers who haul water and sand to drilling sites have been exempted. There is no issue of road fatigue, the focus of the 11-hour rule. The Transportation Department’s reinterpretation eliminates this exemption, disproportionately affecting sites where fracking is employed. Voila – environmental regulation without the hassles of justifying it scientifically, as would be required for an EPA action.
“This is clearly an indication that somewhere up in the top echelons of this administration, there is a constant battle — a war going on — to try to artificially level the playing field between the oil and gas industry and the renewable [energy] industry,” Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., told The Washington Examiner.
A deft maneuver. After all, who isn’t for trucker safety?
But as the article points out, this isn’t about safety. This is about an ideological war on fossil fuels.Tags: Barack Obama, department of transportation, fracking, oil