President Obama wanted natural gas companies to be honest with the public about their drilling practices. Trump will let them off the hook.
Under the guise of helping businesses, Donald Trump and his inner circle have been relentlessly slashing even the most basic, sensible environmental protections.
Now, according to the Washington Post, Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are moving to eliminate rules for natural gas fracking on public lands.
The Burea of Land Management issued the rescission on the final business day of 2017.
It should be noted that the rules, first issued by the BLM in 2015 under the Obama administration and delayed by corporate lawsuits, would not even have banned or restricted fracking. All they would have done is require natural gas firms to adopt safer well drilling and wastewater disposal practices, and to disclose to the public the chemicals they are using to crack open underground rock beds — chemicals that can pollute water supplies and contaminate drinking water. And it would have only applied to fracking done on public land.
But to Trump and his industry cronies, even this is too much of an inconvenience.
This marks the latest in a series of decisions by Trump administration officials that gives energy producers a blank check to despoil public land.
A month ago, on Zinke’s recommendation, the Interior Department dramatically shrank the size of two national monuments in Utah, one of which included sacred Native American land. That decision, based partly on the lobbying of a uranium mining company, opens up much of the land to energy development.
And last Friday, that same department proposed relaxing rules on offshore drilling that were put in place after the horrific Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Under the Trump administration, lands that belong to all Americans are turning into for-profit stomping grounds for energy companies. At this current rate, we must wonder if anything will be left for future generations.