November 2, 2010
Thank you for contacting me about our nationís energy policy and the process of hydraulic fracturing. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this issue.
Energy prices are a direct result of worldwide demand, and America's ability to stabilize fluctuating prices and ensure energy security is strengthened with increased domestic energy production. Advanced technologies and processes, such as directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have opened up unconventional shale gas fields and changed the way energy is produced today. Hydraulic fracturing uses a mixture of water and sand to extract oil and clean-burning natural gas from dense shale far beneath the groundwater level. This is a prominent method used by Texas' Barnett Shale and the majority of energy producing wells throughout the nation.
I believe we can develop a system that allows responsible oil and gas exploration while preserving the environment. Several studies, including one compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency, have concluded that the hydraulic fracturing process does not threaten water supply or public health. In addition, states have the authority to regulate oil and gas development and duplicative or burdensome federal regulations are not needed. That is why Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act as a part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58). As you may know, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (S. 1215) would federally regulate the practice of hydraulic fracturing. S. 1215 was referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and though I am not a member of that committee, you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind should relevant legislation come before the full Senate.
I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Thank you for contacting me regarding your air quality concerns. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.
With regard to the Clean Air Act and other environmental issues, I believe Congress must consider the effects of proposed new standards and requirements on businesses, workers, communities, and consumers. The impact on jobs must be a factor in any decision on this issue. Alternatives to command-and-control regulations, such as incentive and market-based approaches, should be explored as a means of achieving adequate protection of public health and our natural resources--without crippling sectors of our economy.
I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.
Kay Bailey Hutchison
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