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Ohio Utica Shale

Obama administration calls for federal coordination

By Bob Downing Published: April 14, 2012

President Barack Obama on Friday issued an executive order to better coordinate federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The order establishes an “interagency working group” consisting of members from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department and the Energy Department. Other federal agencies will also be involved.

 The goal is to "coordinate and align" all research on fracking to reach natural gas-oil, the agencies said in a federal announcement..

At least 10 federal departments or agencies are currently mulling new regulations of the gas industry, or have commissioned studies of its environmental impact, the Washington Post reported.

The sheer number of potential rulemakers has caused many industry insiders to fear confusing or overlapping guidelines, which, some analysts say, could greatly hamper domestic oil and gas production.

The new working group, the president said, is designed to “ensure coordination among the appropriate federal entities.”

You can read the memo at

The federal plan was greeted with enthusiasm by the industry.

"We remain eager to provide real-time, on-the-ground insight in an effort to ensure that common-sense regulations are in place, which is essential to leveraging the countless benefits of America's natural gas resources," said Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling group in Pennsylvania.

Said John Engler of the Business Roundtable: The federal order is "a solid, first step toward coordinating and, we hope, improving federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing."

Proposed federal rules were appearing "burdensome with overlapping authorities and unnecessary and duplicative rules," he said in a statement.





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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.