The US Environmental Agency has approved fracking in New York State for the first time in more than a decade, and the cost of drilling has soared by a factor of 10 since then, a new report has found.
The Environmental Protection Department approved the practice in September 2017, but that decision was later overturned by a federal judge.
According to the report from the Government Accountability Office, the fracking boom was triggered by the agency’s new rules that would force drillers to conduct the testing and then conduct the extraction on private land, and that forced some to shift production from conventional to unconventional wells, in an attempt to reduce costs.
It also found that the approval was delayed by an average of 12 days and that a further delay would have increased the cost by $6.5 billion.
The Trump administration is already seeking to increase fracking in the US, but many believe the Trump administration will push the process back further.
In a letter sent to the EPA last week, White House Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that the “latest rule” would cost an average $2,000 per well, but added that the agency would continue to review the costs and that “we will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure the process is transparent, effective, and cost effective.”