BLM fracking rule
Western Energy Alliance applauds the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision Jan. 18 to reissue another draft of its hydraulic fracturing (fracking) rule. Given the complexity of the rule and the substantive technical input from industry, tribes, governors and Congress, the decision to undertake a more deliberative process makes good common and legal sense.
BLM has wisely resisted political pressure to rush through a highly complex and controversial rule. We continue to believe a federal fracking rule is not necessary, as states have been effectively regulating for decades with an exemplary health, safety and environmental record.
Western Energy Alliance found that the first draft would add over a quarter of a million dollars to the cost of each new well, for an aggregate annual cost of $1.5 billion. We hope BLM’s next steps include a thorough cost assessment to balance the regulatory burden with the impact on jobs and economic growth. A true assessment would reveal that BLM should not usurp state regulatory authority at a time of overwhelming federal debt and declining budgets.
• Operators developing on federal lands must obtain state permits and comply with all state regulations.
• States have the expertise to properly regulate hydraulic fracturing and have done so for over 60 years.
• There have been no incidents of ground water contamination from fracking on federal or any other lands that would necessitate the rule.
• Any new federal regulation prior to the release of Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing scientific study examining fracking is premature.
• BLM failed to conduct a full economic assessment required for rules with over $100 million in annual costs, and therefore the rule violates Executive Order 12866 Regulatory Planning and Review.
• Several western governors, tribes, members of Congress, the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission and many others have publicly opposed BLM regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands.
Western Energy Alliance
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