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AOGCC Fracking Hearing - March 23, 2017

Posted by Bob Shavelson at Mar 07, 2017 09:00 AM |
The Issue: Current rules do not allow Alaskans to review and comment on applications for oil & gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations near their homes and communities. Get Involved: Cook Inletkeeper recently submitted a proposed rule to the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Council (AOGCC) that would require AOGCC to make fracking applications publicly available, and to provide Alaskans the opportunity to shape final permitting decisions.
AOGCC Fracking Hearing - March 23, 2017

The Issue: Current rules do not allow Alaskans to review and comment on applications for oil & gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations near their homes and communities.  In September 2016, Inletkeeper petitioned the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) to amend its rules and make permits to conduct oil and gas hydraulic fracturing subject to public notice and comment rules. On December 15, 2016, AOGCC held a public hearing on Inletkeeper’s proposal, where the AOGCC Chairwoman resorted to profanity in dismissing Inletkeeper’s proposal. The AOGCC then proceeded to issue a new proposed rule that contains so much vagueness and ambiguity to render it meaningless.  AOGGC’s proposed new rule would state, in full:

“The Commission will post the [fracking] application on its website. If the application contains confidential information the operator shall submit, for this posting, an additional copy of the application with all confidential information redacted. The Commission will accept public comments for 10 days.”

This response from AOGCC is a slap in the face to Alaskans, because it does not say if the draft permit will be posted BEFORE a final permit is issued; it provides only 10 days to review highly complex matters (when industry gets at least 30 days and usually more); it does not say whether AOGCC must actually consider the comments it receives; and it allows oil and gas corporations to determine what is and what is not kept secret from Alaskans.

Get Involved: Cook Inletkeeper believes Alaskans deserve at least the same rights as the oil and gas corporations that profit from our public resources.  Make time to attend this important public meeting and tell your friends.

Public Hearing

March 23, 2017  ◊   9:00 AM-11:00 AM

Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Offices

333 West 7th Avenue, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99501

If you cannot make the hearing, comments are due March 22 by 5:00 PM.  Send comments to the AOGCC address above, or email: aogcc.customer.svc@alaska.gov

You may also call-in to testify during the hearing: 1-800-315-6338 access code 14331

TALKING POINTS

  • AOGCC’s proposed rule is an affront to Alaskans because it is extremely vague and therefore virtually meaningless; AOGCC would never treat the industry it regulates in such an off-handed and dismissive way;
  • Alaskans have a right-to-know about fracking operations in and around their communities.
  • Fracking operations often involve large volumes of water, which in turn create large volumes of waste water.
  • Oil & gas operations aggravate climate change, and fracking only makes it worse.

For more information, contact Bob at keeper@inletkeeper.org or 907.299.3277.