by Susan Simons
The Hydraulic Fracturing Safety Act is a bill which would require Coalbed Methane (CBM) operators to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. In other words, by law the CBM operators could not pump toxic chemicals into underground sources of drinking water during the fracturing process used to extract methane gas from coal seams.
This bill never made it out of congressional committee in 2004. Diane DeGette reintroduced the bill to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, U. S. House of Representatives on September 29, 2008. Maurice Hinchey (D. NY) and John Salazar have signed on as co-sponsors. The bill is HR 7231.
According to Cissy Severance, of the Rural Property Owners Association in Huerfano County, this bill is in the first step in the legislative process. Introduced bills go first to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. The majority of bills never make it out of committee.
To support this bill, you may write or call the following: Committee on Energy and Commerce, 2125 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2927.