Watching Government: Report blasts state regulators

The gloves came off on Sept. 25 when Earthworks Action and other environmental organizations directly attacked state oil and gas regulators in a new report. "Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulatory Enforcement" charged that more than half of all wells go uninspected each year, violators are rarely penalized because policies and rules are ambiguous, and penalties are so weak that many violators simply pay a fine instead of complying with the law. The report examined enforcement data and practices in Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, New York, and Ohio. Its recommendations included increasing inspection and enforcement resources until they meet sy...

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