Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, thanked the Honorable Jeff Cloud, Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, for his testimony today before the EPW Committee on how Oklahoma is regulating hydraulic fracturing.
Jeff Cloud, Vice Chairman, Oklahoma Corporation Commission
"I was pleased to welcome the Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission before the EPW Committee today to discuss Oklahoma's long and successful history of regulating hydraulic fracturing," Senator Inhofe said. "Jeff's experience and expertise as a state regulator are invaluable as Congress considers the role of the federal government in regulating hydraulic fracturing. I believe Jeff put it best today when he said, ‘Oklahoma's record makes it clear that state regulation is the best way' to ensure that our water and environment are protected, without impeding access to the vital resources that we need to strengthen our energy security and our economy.'"
"Jeff's testimony, along with Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Director David Neslin, provided our Committee with great insight into the effectiveness of State regulation."
Oklahoma has long been a leader in natural gas production, and hydraulic fracturing plays a key role in providing affordable, domestic energy."
Senator Cardin (D-Maryland), who chaired today's joint Full-Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife hearing, complemented Oklahoma and Colorado for their leadership in developing state regulatory programs. Senator Cardin said, "I do want to compliment the states of Colorado and states of Oklahoma who have taken aggressive action to protect the public health of their citizens. I think we need to learn from best practices and we have seen some of that catch on from other states."
Since the first use of hydraulic fracturing on March 17, 1949 near Duncan Oklahoma, states have been regulating the process effectively and efficiently, and there has not been one confirmed case of groundwater contamination. As Vice Chairman Cloud explained,
Hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 60 years in Oklahoma, and more than 100,000 Oklahoma wells have been hydraulically fractured over that period. Over that more than half century of hydraulic frac experience, there has not been a single documented instance of contamination to groundwater or drinking water as result of hydraulic fracturing.
Vice Chairman Cloud also explained the robust and meticulous process in place for the state regulation of fracking to ensure that water supplies are safe:
To say we take protection of our water quality seriously would be an understatement. Our rules are constantly reviewed and updated with that in mind. Our rules include a general prohibition against pollution of any surface or subsurface fresh water from well completion activities [....] Without the need for any federal intervention, the City of Oklahoma City, the regulated oil and gas industry and the State worked together to come up with acceptable protections because we all realize that it is in our mutual best interest to ensure proper and practical water and environmental protections without cutting off access to critical resources.