The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the biggest oil and gas lobby group in the country, spending millions of dollars each year advocating on behalf of over 400 corporations who work in the petroleum industry.

So why is its president, Jack Gerard, speaking on behalf of the Obama administration?

The Hill reports that the Interior Department is set to release a new proposal regulating “fracking,” the controversial oil and gas extraction method in which water, chemicals, and sand are injected into rock formations, on federal lands sometime this week. Their source? Gerard, who said, “I expect [the new regulations] will be out tomorrow or Friday.”

The long-awaited new regulations are certain to please Gerard and his oil industry cronies. Bloomberg reports that the rules have been significantly watered down from a version in February, which required companies to disclose the chemicals they would use at least 30 days before work began. This drew ire from industry groups who lobbied aggressively against the rules, including API and the American Exploration and Production Council, who argued that the rule might slow energy production.

The Obama administration listened. The new rules, according to Bloomberg, allow companies drilling on federal lands to wait until after the fracking is completed to disclose what chemicals they used. This is consistent with earlier guidelines established by API.

Keep in mind that some of these chemicals are known carcinogens. Federal officials and environmental groups have expressed concern about public drinking water supplies in areas where fracking occurs.

Gerard told the Hill that he’s happy with the rules:

“We will have to look at all the details, of course; however, there have clearly been some constructive changes. We hope there will be many changes,” he said when asked if the group’s concerns have been addressed.

But he said states should have the primary role in regulating fracking.

“We are working with the [Interior] Department, we are working with the administration to find that proper role for state regulation, which we believe clearly should be the lead role in these areas,” he said.

API spent $8.6 million lobbying federal politicians and agencies, including the Interior Department, last year.

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Filed under: Lobbying

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  • Pingback: Obama Administration Caves To Oil And Gas Industry On Controversial Fracking Rules | marcgilbert.com()

  • Bobaloo727

    I don’t understand the rush to fight regulation to increase production. We need to study the long term effects of pumping all this crap into the ground. If we contaminate our groundwater we are in deep trouble and left with no process to correct the problem. How stupid can we afford to be in relation to our water supply.

    • Avaritia

      Never underestimate the power of large groups of people voting Republican.

    • CatKinNY

      What makes it particularly mystifying is that natural gas has been rendered really cheap by all this extraction. You would think that the captains of industry who are running this show would want a better ROR on investment. Unless their real object is the destruction of aquifers so they can sell us water at a huge profit? That doesn’t strike me as a smart plan, since it guarantees an outcome where sheer numbers will have far more power than we do now, and we’re bound to gruesomely execute the people who turned the breadbasket into a wasteland. Surely these people are smart enough to realize that we, the people, actually are the United States Military? Then again, maybe they aren’t smart enough to see that, living as they do behind electic gates with squads of private security at their disposal. I hope somebody is running tape when the hoi poloi invades their compounds in Bradleys. I want to see the expressions on their faces as we make them roast marshmallows over the smoldering bodies of their own children.

  • TRussert

    More fracking BS. Well, on the bright side, after they’ve poisoned us all and humanity is no more, no point if further fracking.
    Obama is becoming more and more a GOP puppet everyday. Throw all these bums out of Congress. We can do it too. Become a delegate for the Continental Congress 2.0 taking place at Independence Hall July 4th. This is legal per the Constitution. To apply and vote you need to register now. No party Democrats or Republicans are allowed. Join the 600,000 of us already making this happen. Don’t get left out; you’ll regret it. Time for the Second American Revolution.

    • Avaritia

      You may be interested in seeing this. Although it’s in the UK, I believe the same principle applies here in the US since the entire world has been highjacked and contaminated by the same cancer and Right Wing lunacy:

      “Local elections: Tories suffering ‘bad night’ as Labour celebrates

      Labour claimed a “significant breakthrough” in council elections early this morning as voters punished the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for a series of crises in the last month.”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/local-elections/9244547/Local-elections-Tories-suffering-bad-night-as-Labour-celebrates.html

      In case you don’t know that already, the Tories are the British version of the Republicans and Labour is the Democrat. Same dog, different collar. And these were 450 seats they lost. LOL! Too bad they’re all the same at the end of the day whether here or there, Democrat or Republican. The entire system has been hijacked and corrupted by the same 1% power players.

      • TRussert

        Hello Avaritia,
        Thank you for the response and link. No, this lunacy is not confined to the US; it’s going Global and is being financed by the big banks and Wall St. firms. They want to rule the world and make us all their servants. There was a great article about it either here on Republic Report or Truthout. I’ll try to find it and provide the link. People really need to wake up. Most think this is just a phase of politics, but it’s not. We have already lost our democracy and few realize it. Next it will be our ability to effect change with our vote. It’s coming sooner then you might expect. The ONLY options are they are going to screw up and cause a total global collapse of economy including themselves, or we can unite to do something about it NOW. That’s what’s so great about the Continental Congress 2.0. It’s a real and legitimate opportunity to take back our Government and reinstate our democracy. Yes, it too will have it’s problems and growing pains, but they would be infinitely better then what we have now. JMHO

        • Avaritia

          You’re absolutely correct in your entire assessment, the lunacy has gone global because the bosses are the same, whether they be in Syria, Cuba, Isreal, France or the US (just to name a few). Have you checked the scene in Isreal lately? One look at Ha’aretz (their left wing paper) will show how how the entire country is unraveling at the same as they’ve been gripped by the same madness. Some of their readership are even forecasting a civil war.

          Forgive my ignorance but what is the Continental Congress 2.0?

          • TRussert

            Hi Avaritia,
            Full details on the Continental Congress 2.0 are at http://www.the99declaration.org/
            This is a movement not unlike what our Founding Fathers went through leading to the Declaration of Independence. The 99% really must learn of this, as it’s the best shot we have at ending all the political BS we are enduring. Check it out.

      • TRussert
        • Avaritia

          Thanks for the link. I love Thruthout.

          • TRussert

            Hi Avaritia,
            Kudos to your “kid”. Good for him/her!
            Cheers!

        • CatKinNY

          Hey, TR. Good article, except for the conclusion that because Draghi used to work for Goldman Sachs, he still is. While the London branch of GS did indeed send out mercenaries across Europe to ‘help’ small municipalities and pension funds with their debt problems by selling them complex derivatives that vaporized in 08 (an activity in which they were joined by every other investment bank in the City), and taught the Greek government how to hide it’s massive Olympics debt, it’s not GS that the ECB is protecting, it’s the German banks. They are the ones who lent a whole shit load of money to dubious projects south of the Alps. If it weren’t German banks, there’d be no open checkbook, and there’d be accountability. The Germans, who crawled out of their own financial hole of the 90’s largely by exporting to other EU countries, now demand austerity from the very people whose buying feuled their own recovery, while simultaneously demanding unlimited welfare from all for their own institutions of high finance. Fuck them. Churchill nailed the Germans with this thumbnail sketch: “They are either at your feet or at your throat”. The sooner the Euro goes away, the better.

          • TRussert

            Hello again CatKinNY,
            You are right about Draghi, but I also think it makes sense that he is going to be partial to GS, The bottom line is the same, the banks/political right want to control the world economy and financially enslave the masses, and they will too if we let them. There will come a point, not in the too distant future, where the masses will no longer have the ability to have a say that matters, then it will be violent revolution and history repeating itself. JMHO.
            Cheers!

          • CatKinNY

            You’re giving them way too much credit, TR. They aren’t Bond villains, they are amoral greedy bastards who are too smart for their own good. They do have very high IQs, and that, combined with the insular lives they lead and the poor quality of their basic educations (they are technocrats without much knowledge of history or the world) leaves them thinking that they can continue to get away with this indefinately. The folks in the Senate, and many in the House as well, are a different breed of cat altogether. While most of them would be baffled by the details of the complex financial instruments created by the mathematicians that Wall Street bribed out of doing useful work over the last few years, most of them can see the potential for disaster in these hydras, and they know history. Wall Street is truly afraid of a second Obama term, and I’m beginning to think they are right to be afraid. Eric Schneiderman believes he’s being given everything he needs to send a lot of them to jail. If the American people are smart enough to have learned some lessons from what they wrought in 2010 and they deliver a different verdict in November, we might have a chance at real financial reform. All those history buffs in the Senate know damned well that the possibility of a real revolution, with a distinctly French accent, gets closer every day, and unlike the guys on Wall Street, they know that the US military IS the American people, and no one will be able to command it to turn on its own. Not today, in the age of instant messaging.

          • TRussert

            Hello CatKinNY,
            Perhaps I am, but I would rather over estimate them then underestimate. Otherwise I pray you are correct in your most eloquent assessment. I still have trouble seeing really viable solutions from a two term Obama as only less damaging then from a one term Romney. I truly believe we are beyond the point of correction from anyone on the inside or from most first term wannabe candidates out there as well, with perhaps a few exceptions. I simply do not see a solution that does not significantly involve the majority in some radical new way aside from record voting. This is why the Continental Congress 2.0 gives me hope. Time will tell. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if I were to know your real identity to find you are a professor of Law and History or an equivalent holder of expertise and esteem? I love the prospect of the French accent BTW. Chalk it up to my “dark” side! :) As always, great reading your contributions here!
            Cheers

          • [email protected]

            How can anything more damaging then Owebama the Corporate-Socialist Kick Back Artist kicking back 6 trillion spent in 3 years to GE, Big Pharma with NAZIonlized Obamacare and various fat cats invested in Public/Private Partnerships (the super rick get fed contracts – while the rest of us get the Bush Tax cuts recinded and taxed back down the ladder) = all the Fascist Anti Free Market Left has in mind

          • [email protected]

            Did you say “French Revolution” … FYI most of those RUNNING *WALL STREET are Keynesian – ie: (THEY WANT MORE GOVT. SPENDING CAT)
            ” …The more Govt. spends The Higher the Poverty Rate goes up everytime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WITHOUT FAIL …. LEFTISM DOES NOT WORK! Never has not back in FDR’s days, Not in LBJ’s days …Not today under Owebama

          • CatKinNY

            Sorry, but you have exhibited exactly no factual knowledge of anything, but have displayed a profound ignorance of history, while failing to acknowledged the fact that virtually every billionaire in the country has lined up behind the GOP. Why? Because the GOP are Keynesians for rich people, and the most stridently social Darwinist Austrians for the rest of us. Leftism doesn’t work? Try telling that to the Germans, or the Scandinavians, or the Swiss, or the Austrians themselves. Your writing syle, btw, is singularly repellent. If you wish to engage in a meaningful dialogue, utilize full sentences, featuring proper grammer, usage and punctuation. If you wish to come off as a tin foil hat wearing paranoid, continue in your present vein.

  • Avaritia

    LOL! As if this were the first time to Oblablah “caved” on an issue. In fact, they should rename the guy Barack Caving In Obama. What a hoax the guy is!

  • ecoalex

    Disclose the poison after they have pumped it into the ground.Brilliant.

    Obama is a neo con.

    • Jjdp47

      You’re close! He’s a neo con artist! He’s taken us all for a ride.

  • Earl Callahan

    To cave to the interests of anyone in established industry is what our President is good at. There should be a hemp industry, but he caves to the interests of cotton growers, oil interests, makers of fertilizers, loggers, paper industry, pharmaceuticals, etc., etc. who would not want to see a hemp industry happen.

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