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Originally posted by GoldenRuled
***President Obama signed an executive order Friday establishing a high-level task force charged with coordinating federal oversight of domestic natural-gas development.***
The order sets up a task force to “facilitate coordinated Administration policy efforts to support safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development.”
In an executive order signed Friday, President Barack Obama said the group was needed to make sure a host of federal agencies that oversee drilling work together.
"It is vital that we take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised," Obama said.
Natural gas production has soared in recent years as drillers use techniques such as hydraulic fracturing to gain access to wells that were hard to reach in the past.
Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, involves blasting mixtures of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to stimulate the release of gas. It is often combined with horizontal drilling, which can increase production far beyond a vertically drilled well.
Industry groups welcomed the working group, which appeared timed to counter criticism from some business leaders and Republicans, who have accused Obama of having a double standard on drilling -- saying he supports it, while cracking down on it.
"We have called on the White House to rein in these uncoordinated activities to avoid unnecessary and overlapping federal regulatory efforts and are pleased to see forward progress," said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, the largest lobbying group for the oil and gas industry.