Politics & Government

Texas Gov. Perry defends state's gas drilling regulations

FORT WORTH — Gov. Rick Perry defended the state's handling of natural gas drilling regulations at an appearance Monday in Fort Worth, and he made it clear that he wants the federal government to butt out of the state's handling of environmental issues related to drilling.

Perry was in town to address a board of directors meeting of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, which last year endorsed the governor for re-election.

While speaking with reporters, Perry was asked about concerns in North Texas that natural gas drilling isn't being adequately regulated by the Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

"I think there might be some singular companies that have broken the law, but I think we have the appropriate laws in place," Perry said.

Perry dismissed questions about the safety of hydraulic fracturing, in which gas companies blast water mixed with chemicals down a well at enough pressure to crack open the formation and unlock the natural gas. Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency are investigating whether hydraulic fracturing is contaminating ground water.

"I am a very strong advocate of hydraulic fracking," Perry said. "I've got great concerns that the federal government is trying to regulate that aspect of our drilling industry. It would basically shut down the oil and gas industry for hydraulic fracking to be outlawed or frankly, allow radical environmental interests to come in and have a say on how it ... can be used by the federal government."

Perry said he believes that the state has appropriately punished companies that have "misused" hydraulic fracturing.

To read the complete article, visit www.star-telegram.com.

Related stories from McClatchy DC