The National Park Service is withdrawing public comments submitted in response to a draft proposal of regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, proposed by the Bureau of Land Management following conservative attacks that the comments, which criticized the drilling technique as a possible health and environmental hazard, were unfounded, according to The Hill.
When NPS formally commented on the BLM's proposed fracking rule in August the agency cited an op-ed written by Cornell University Professor Anthony Ingraffea, which raised the possibility that fracking is a contributor to global warming because it releases methane gas.
This sparked pushback from oil and gas industry groups and conservative lawmakers who charged that the op-ed was speculative rather than scientific. In September, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, chairman of the House Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee, wrote to Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis calling the comments inconsistent with the agency's scientific-integrity policy and asking the director to defend the response.
In mid-November, Jarvis wrote to Bishop with notice that the park service is formally withdrawing its previous comments on the rule.