Gov. Rick Perry defended the state's regulation of natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale region in Fort Worth today.
While speaking with reporters after addressing a law enforcement group, Perry was asked about concerns in North Texas that natural gas drilling isn't being properly regulated by the Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
"I think there might be some singular companies that have broken the law but I think we have the appropriate laws in place," Perry said.
Perry specifically addressed concerns about the use of hydraulic fracturing, in which gas companies blast water mixed with chemicals down a well at enough pressure to crack open the formation and unlock the natural gas. Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency are investigating whether hydraulic fracturing is contaminating ground water supplies.
"I am a very strong advocate of hydraulic fracking. I've got great concerns that the federal government is trying to regulate that aspect of our drilling industry. It would basically shut down the oil and gas industry for hydraulic fracking to be outlawed or frankly, allow radical environmental interests to come in and have a say on how it should or where it can be used by the federal government.
"I think the state of Texas is doing an appropriate job and I think we're doing a pretty good job of making sure that companies that have misused the technique are being punished appropriately," Perry said.