Mike Krancer, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Environmental Protection, suggested that President Obama's environmental regulators need to "back off" and let his office handle oil and natural gas regulations.
"My prime advice would be to back off," Krancer told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today when asked how the federal government should handle natural gas exploration permits. "Trust the states," he added, saying "the states in which this is happening know exactly what they are doing."
Krancer made a similar point in a scathing letter to Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson earlier this year.
"We realize and recognize that EPA is very new to all of this and the EPA’s understanding of the facts and science behind this activity is rudimentary," he said in the January letter. "Fortunately, Pennsylvania is not new to all of this and we have a long history of experience at overseeing and regulating oil and natural gas extraction activities in our state, including hydraulic fracturing."
Krancer also criticized the Obama administration for its handling of pipeline permits, a vulnerable issue for the president since his State Department blocked the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.
"It's not just about the EPA," he told Congress today. "The Army Corps, for example, with respect to developing infrastructure is overstepping its review of projects and treating projects today differently, [such as] pipelines, than they ever had in the past."