Senator Bob Casey says the federal government needs to play a role in regulating natural gas drilling.
Casey has pushed for federal standards requiring drilling companies to disclose the chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluid.
This week, he introduced a bill setting strict guidelines for how drillers respond to fires and other emergencies at wells.
The Democrat says Congress needs to play a larger role regulating natural gas drilling.
“Some states will do a good job on issues like this. Some states won’t. I think safety and protecting health and safety should be the subject of national standards. If a state wants to do more, they can. There should be a minimal level of protection,” says Casey.
The lawmaker says he’s “very concerned” by recent mishaps at Allegheny and Clearfield County wells.
Casey is hesitant to back a full moratorium on drilling, saying he needs to take a closer look at the details and implications of a halt on the practice.
But he’s urging environmental regulators to slow down permitting and drilling, so lawmakers and officials can make sure the right environmental and safety standards are in place.