Thursday, October 01, 2015

Federal court rules Bureau of Land Management lacks authority to regulate fracking on public lands

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the Obama administration does not have the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands, Ellen Gilmer reports for EnergyWire. The Bureau of Land Management in March released a rule that "would set new requirements for well construction, water management and chemical disclosure for fracked wells on public and tribal lands . . . The rule's backers have consistently argued that BLM has broad authority to regulate oil and gas production on federal land and that increased fracking regulation is crucial to ensure safety and environmental protection."

Judge Scott Skavdahl of the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming disagreed. He wrote: "One of the fundamental questions presented in this case is whether Congress granted or delegated to the BLM the authority or jurisdiction to regulate fracking . . . At this point, the Court does not believe Congress has granted or delegated to the BLM authority to regulate fracking."

Gilmer writes, "Industry groups and several states, meanwhile, celebrated the decision as an affirmation that BLM had gone too far. The plaintiff states—Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and Utah—were behind the first argument discussed in the decision that Congress intended for states to handle regulation of fracking." (Read more)

No comments: