Jody Freeman says the Obama administration “has been timid about calling for a stronger federal role” in regulating fracking. And she should know, as she served as White House counselor for energy and climate change from 2009 to 2010.
In a New York Times op-ed, Freeman argues that state-level regulation is not good enough:
If natural gas extraction is a national priority, its safety and efficacy should be of national concern, too. … Only a national regulatory system can strike the right balance, simultaneously realizing hydraulic fracturing’s energy promise and minimizing the risks while respecting state authority.
The administration can’t act on this alone — Congress would need to lift regulatory exemptions for fracking, which were pushed through by Dick Cheney — but Freeman suggests the White House could step up its game.