The Interior Department's rollout of hydraulic fracturing disclosure rules for public lands late last week was preceded by a bevy of White House meetings between President Obama's aides and industry lobbyists.
There was also one meeting with environmental groups in the lead-up to Friday's announcement, White House records show. But administration officials met with four different industry groups in February, March and April.
With gasoline prices rising amid consistent criticism from the oil and gas industry, Obama has sought to demonstrate his support for domestic production, undertaking an energy tour in March to visit a pipeline hub and drilling rig.
When Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Chairman James Hackett showed up in early April, he got a face-to-face meeting with Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, otherwise known as the "regulatory czar."
Anadarko was arguing that the requirement to report chemicals ahead of the fracture treatment was "onerous," according to documents provided to officials. Those prereporting requirements were removed from the version rolled out Friday (Greenwire, May 4).
Exxon Mobil Corp. lobbyist Susan Carter and officials from gas drilling subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. met with Council on Environmental Quality official Manisha Patel on March 22. Officials from the Office of Management and Budget and Mark Lawyer, an Interior regulatory affairs staffer, also attended.
On the same day, representatives of Samson Resources, QEP Resources, WPX Resources and the Western Energy Alliance met Patel and other officials at the White House, records show.
The largest meeting involved lobbyists from America's Natural Gas Alliance, the U.S. Oil and Gas Association, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and QEP Resources on Feb. 29.
The industry representatives at that meeting presented the White House officials with letters from American Indian tribes protesting the disclosure requirements on public lands (EnergyWire, April 20).
Representatives of three environmental groups -- the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthworks and the Western Organization of Resource Councils -- met with similar officials April 5.
Click here and here to read meeting materials provided by the oil and gas industry.
Click here to read meeting materials provided by environmentalists,