Federal fracking rule criticized by states, industry

Nov 13, 2013

The federal rule on hydraulic fracturing proposed by the Bureau of Land Management came under fire today from state and industry representatives at an energy law conference. The regulations establish nationwide standards for cementing wells and disclosure of chemicals used in fracking fluids.

Wyoming already has regulations in place for fracking and industry representatives say a federal rule would kowtow to environmental groups, infringe on states’ ability to control their water supply, and wear away states’ rights.

Policy director of the Western Governors’ Association, Holly Propst, says Western governors agree that states should retain regulatory control.   

“State authority and state expertise in hydraulic fracturing, as in many of these regulatory matters need to be respected, understood, and then integrated as the federal government looks on what their responsibility is and how to handle regulatory issues within the region,” Propst says.  

But BLM’s Michael Madrid says the rule came from citizen concerns.

“One thing we heard was a concern that you would have 50 different rules out there and that maybe the feds could step in and try to develop one rule,” says Madrid.

The BLM has received over 1 million comments on its proposed rule and is currently analyzing feedback.