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Public Policy Presentation::

Public Policy Presentation: Hydraulic Fracturing Kristen Cecil Ms. Burkes AP U.S. Government 27 January, 2015


Introduction Hydraulic Fracturing, or fracking , is a method for natural gas extraction that utilizes a proprietary mix of chemicals under high pressure to fracture the rock sitting beneath the surface and free the gas within.


Fracking has helped to reduce dependence on foreign energy Fracking helps to boost the economy by assisting U.S. energy production However, it has led to hundreds of documented cases of drinking water contamination, affecting the lives of many Americans

Agenda Setting:

Agenda Setting Fracking has arrived on the public policy agenda as a result of media coverage and special interest groups The 2010 documentary “ Gasland ” featured the topic, and educated the public about the issue. It focused on drinking water contamination, in particular, and the rare cases where people affected had so many chemicals in their water that they could light it on fire.

Policy Formulation:

Policy Formulation The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, or the FRAC Act was introduced to the House and Senate in 2009. It was solely supported by democrats, and didn’t have much public support.


The bill sought to remove the provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that rendered gas & oil companies exempt from regulation in the Safe Drinking water Act (The Halliburton Loophole) The bill would also require full disclosure of chemicals used in fracking .

Policy Implementation:

Policy Implementation The FRAC Act was originally rejected, only to be reintroduced in 2011, as a bipartisan bill If implemented, the EPA would be responsible for enforcing the provisions outlined in the bill


As of 2013 the bill was declared “Dead—Referred to Committee” Experts estimate that the chance of the FRAC Act making it past the committee are very slim even with the newly bipartisan support

Policy Evaluation:

Policy Evaluation Although the bill wasn’t passed, it did lead to increased media attention, which garnered further awareness and support from the public.


Conclusions Although the FRAC Act was never enacted, the fact that it resulted in a bipartisan effort is incredibly significant. I think that further legislation on the regulation of fracking is likely to be introduced in Congress in the near future.

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