Even when he's creating oversight bodies specifically to manage fracking, President Obama still apparently hates using that word. On Friday, the president signed an executive order creating a multi-agency body to oversee new gas drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, but the order itself contains no mention of hydraulic fracturing, better known as "fracking." Of course, it's got to be fairly general to act as a catch-all for whatever new techniques people might come up with to yank fuel sources out of the ground, but come on, let's not play dumb: This is a fracking task force, as Reuters, The Hill, and every other journalism outfit that covered it called it that.
But Obama does not often use the word fracking, even when he's talking about it, as The Atlantic Wire pointed out back in January. It just carries too much political baggage, especially since the EPA condemned the practice.
Officially, Friday's order is an "Executive Order Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources." The order says various federal bodies should work together to augment state regulators and oversee gas development on Indian land and other federally managed property. And since there aren't a whole lot of unconventional domestic natural gas resources other than shale reserves, which is where you use fracking to extract gas, this is clearly a fracking task force. Why not just call it that?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.