Casey Offers Help After Clearfield County Well Blowout; Highlights Need for FRAC Act

WASHINGTON, DC— Following a natural gas well blowout in Clearfield County, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), offered his help to state officials to aid in the cleanup and highlighted the need for new regulations to ensure that drilling is done in a way provides greater protection for Pennsylvania.  He released the following statement:

“There are still a lot of questions to be answered.  Based on initial reports, what is a bad situation could have been much worse.  My office has contacted the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to offer help in securing any federal assistance they might need.  

“Natural gas drilling offers Pennsylvania a great economic opportunity.  However, incidents like this blowout are a reminder that there are dangers and that precautions must be taken to protect the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians.”  

In 2009, Senator Casey introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (FRAC Act).  The legislation would repeal a Bush administration exemption provided for the oil and gas industry and would require them to disclose the chemicals they use in their hydraulic fracturing processes.  Currently, the oil and gas industry is the only industry granted an exemption from complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  

The protection of drinking water is an especially great concern in Pennsylvania where three million people are dependent on private wells for water.