by H. Sterling Burnett
National Center for Policy Analysis
October 24, 2013
The growth of natural gas reserves is unprecedented. Just a few short years ago, many analysts argued that oil was nearly tapped out, and that America needed to plan for a post-petroleum future. Now, however, natural gas has taken the stage. If fracking cannot definitively be linked to a persistent, widespread, inherent problem, the federal government should accept the mountain of evidence that fracking is safe. The federal government should streamline the permitting and leasing process on public lands – leaving regulation on private land to the states – in order to reap the fiscal, economic and energy bounty of fracking. If problems become manifest, regulations can be tailored as narrowly as possible to address issues relevant to specific geographic sites.