Interior department offers new rules for ‘fracking’

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department proposed new rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on federal land Thursday, drawing criticism from environmentalists that it had weakened an earlier draft to placate industry.

Industry officials were not mollified, however, reiterating their objections to federal standards. Last year, they criticized the department’s earlier draft rules as inflexible and onerous.

“We are proposing some common-sense updates that increase safety while also providing flexibility and facilitating coordination with states and tribes,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said. “As we continue to offer millions of acres of America’s public lands for oil and gas development, it is important that the public has full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place.”

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