Hickenlooper: We should let the states regulate fracking, and I’ve got the cocktail to prove it

posted at 8:41 pm on February 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

While President Obama is more than happy to impose one-size-fits-all, top-down regulations from the federal level on down when it comes to energy production (and just about everything else for that matter, ugh), state governments are the more efficient stewards of their own interests — fiscal, economic, and environmental. States are more than capable and in fact better equipped to handle their own interior energy industries than the cumbersome federal bureaucracy, as Colorado’s Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper testified before the Senate earlier this week on the subject of natural gas and hydraulic fracturing.

States — not the federal government — should lead in regulating natural gas production, Gov. John Hickenlooper told a Senate committee Tuesday, angering environmentalists and drawing applause from energy groups who are fighting the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that Colorado is a “national model” in how it regulates natural gas extraction. …

“I come back to the notion of appropriate regulation,” Hickenlooper said. “States are the laboratory of democracy, and we are focusing on how we create a rigorous set of regulations.”

And Hickenlooper would know, I suppose, via the Washington Times:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper went to unusually great lengths to learn firsthand the strides the oil and gas industry has made to minimize environmental harm from fracking.

The first-term Democrat and former Denver mayor told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he actually drank a glass of fracking fluid produced by oilfield services giant Halliburton.

The fluid is made entirely “of ingredients sourced from the food industry,” the company says, making it safe for Mr. Hickenlooper and others to imbibe.

“You can drink it. We did drink it around the table, almost rituallike, in a funny way,” he told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “It was a demonstration. … they’ve invested millions of dollars in what is a benign fluid in every sense.”

Well… er, overkill, maybe? But the point is, individual states are the most well-suited to determining their own energy, business, and regulatory needs, and the Obama administration could save us all a lot of time, money, and grief if they could simple deign to leave states to their own devices on some fronts instead of bogging us all down with overzealous federal bureaucrats’ high-minded ideas of what everybody else’s energy policies should look like. They don’t seem to like to delegate much, do they? (Looking at you, EPA!)


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