Proposed Fracking Regulations Rile Wyoming

May 4, 2012

The Bureau of Land Management has released a proposal to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public and tribal lands. Under the proposed rules, companies that use fracking would need to disclose chemicals used in the process after the job was finished, and would have to address issues related to waste water and drill holes.

Kathleen Sgamma is a spokesperson for Western Energy Alliance. She says the proposed regulations would be bad for business, which she says already faces excessive bureaucratic hurdles.

“It’s really not about a federal floor, it’s not just about setting standards, it’s really about a new regulatory regime which really BLM is ill-equipped to take on,” says Sgamma.

Sgamma says the new rules would be redundant, as many states already require disclosure. In Wyoming, for example, fracking operators are already required to disclose chemicals before starting work.

Shannon Anderson is with the Powder River Basin Resource Council. She says the Council supports the regulations so that a federal standard can be established to protect American citizens. However, Anderson also says that she’s disappointed, in part, because the BLM’s requirements are weaker than Wyoming’s.

“Wyoming was one of the first states to require disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals,” says Anderson. “Wyoming’s rules are pretty strong in a couple of important ways, in terms of getting information available for land owners who are facing nearby oil and gas development.”

Anderson says she hopes the state can take a leadership role and work with the BLM to insure that federal fracking rules are as strong as Wyoming’s rules.

A statement released by Governor Matt Mead touted Wyoming’s role in regulating the industry, but questioned the wisdom of the federal government to apply duplicate, or less effective, rules.