The Energy Policy Act of 2005
also known as the Halliburton Loophole
Vice President Dick Cheney was the former boss of Halliburton
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub.L. 109–58) is a bill passed by the United States Congress on July 29, 2005, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005, at Sandia
National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The act, described by proponents as an attempt to combat growing energy problems, changed US energy
policy by providing tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production of various types.
Aerial View: Coal Seam Gas Fracking in Texas
The Washington Post contended that the spending bill is a broad collection of subsidies for United States energy companies; in particular, the nuclear and oil industries.
Speaking for the National Republicans for Environmental Protection Association, President Martha Marks said that the organization was disappointed in the bill: it did not give enough support to conservation, and continued to subsidize the well-established oil and gas industries that don't require subsidizing.
The bill did not include provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) even though some Republicans claim "access to the abundant oil reserves in ANWR would strengthen America's energy independence without harming the environment."
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton made the bill an issue in the 2008 Democratic Primary by criticizing Senator Barack Obama's vote for the bill.
This bill exempted fluids used in the natural gas extraction process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from
protections under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and CERCLA.
a loophole that exempts companies drilling for natural gas from disclosing the chemicals involved in fracking operations that would normally be required under federal clean water laws — see exemptions for hydraulic fracturing under United
States federal law.
The loophole is commonly known as the "Halliburton loophole" since former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney was reportedly instrumental in its passage.
Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act would repeal these exemptions,
although it appears it will be defeated.