Congressional Democrats Take Another Shot at the Oil and Gas Industry

Congressional Democrats Take Another Shot at the Oil and Gas Industry

June 25, 2021

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) recently introduced the CLEAN Future Act that is filled with nothing but problems for the oil and gas industry. Specifically, an entire section dedicated to the water used in oil and drilling and then disposed of in special wells.

As detailed in a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute, the language would reclassify returned water from oilfield drilling operations as a “hazardous waste” under the provisions of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

This change in regulation will do a lot of harm and increase the cost of production tremendously. David Blackmon a Forbes contributor explains the complications behind this change.

Such a change could do great harm to the upstream industry’s ability to get its business done. This brine – which is basically all that’s left once any solids have been removed from the returned water – has always been disposed of in Class II disposal wells, which exist in the tens of thousands across the country. Such wells are regulated by state agencies like the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Texas Railroad Commission.

But this reclassification would require the water to be disposed of in Class I wells governed by the U.S. EPA and its delegees, like the Texas Council on Environmental Quality. As the Baker Institute points out, only a few hundred such wells exist in isolated pockets currently, most along the Gulf Coasts of Texas and

The eco-left has a habit of not thinking new environmental rules all the way through, and the CLEAN Future Act is no exception. With their only being a few hundred of these specialized wells, companies will have to transport around 10 million oil barrels a day, hundreds of miles. Which will cause the cost of production to go up and the chances of an environmental mishap will increase. This bill is disguised to help the environment but in reality, it is another attack on the oil and gas industry.