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Fracking critics push stronger guidelines as candidates focus on energy independence (video)

The nation’s energy-production policy has been a central topic in this week’s presidential contest – with Mitt Romney vowing to “streamline regulations” to expand oil and gas exploration, [1] and President Obama reiterating an “all-of-the-above [2]” approach to developing new domestic energy sources.

This debate comes on the heels of North Carolina lawmakers passing legislation this summer to legalize hydraulic fracking [3] and reshape the state’s energy landscape.

Sam Pearsall, a senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund [4], joins us this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss the promise and perils of fracking.

He says before the shale gas industry is allowed to drill here, there must be safeguards in place for the public’s health and the environment that include :

  • A comprehensive disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals
  • State and national standards for improving air quality, and reducing climate impacts
  • Minimization of land use and community impacts from natural gas development
  • Modernization of rules for well construction and operation

Pearsall also worries about the vast amounts of water needed for this type of drilling, and how that will impact North Carolina’s rivers.

The state Energy and Mining Commission will begin discussing guidelines for the new industry when it meets in September.

For a preview of our radio interview with the EDF’s Sam Pearsall, click below: