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EPA Shrinking ‘Halliburton Loophole’ Threatens Obama Gas Pledge

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with hydraulic fracturing standards that industry groups say will undercut President Barack Obama’s bid to speed the search for natural gas.

The EPA is preparing guidelines, due for release by mid-March, which would set how gas-drilling companies can use diesel. In 2005 Congress exempted fracking from requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, a move health advocates labeled the “Halliburton loophole” after the company led by Richard Cheney before he became vice president. Halliburton is the world’s largest provider of fracking services.