Western Caucus Lauds Trump Administration Proposal to Rescind Obama BLM Fracking Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03), Chairman Emeritus Steve Pearce (NM-02), Chairman Emeritus Rob Bishop (UT-01), and Western Caucus Members David Valadao (CA-21), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Kevin Cramer (ND-AL) and Liz Cheney (WY-AL) released the following statements after the Trump Administration announced a proposed rule to rescind a duplicative and job-killing Obama Administration Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule which sought to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public and tribal lands:
“Unlike the previous administration, President Trump and Secretary Zinke understand that unconstitutional regulations that seize authority from states, hamper responsible energy development, harm our economy and ignore the voices of local communities are not in our best interest,” said Chairman Gosar. “The Obama Administration continuously pandered to extremist groups, enacting senseless regulations which were not based on science that punished job creators in the process. BLM’s duplicative fracking rule was no exception. Scrapping this unnecessary Washington mandate is a major victory for the West and something Western Caucus members have been leading the charge on for years. I applaud the Trump Administration and the Department of Interior for continuing to deliver on our agenda."
Congressman Tipton stated: “Western states, including Colorado, have done a good job of regulating and monitoring hydraulic fracturing and those efforts should be able to continue without heavy-handed federal bureaucratic regulations that prevent responsible energy development from moving forward. I welcome the Department of the Interior’s action rescinding the BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rule, and I applaud Secretary Zinke’s commitment to protecting good-paying jobs in the West.”
Congressman Bishop said, “I applaud Secretary Zinke and his team for their work in returning the Department, it’s sub-agencies and bureaus to their core statutory functions. Taking this job-killing, federal regulatory overreach off the books is an important step in this process.”
“I am very pleased that the Trump Administration and the Interior Department are working hard to deliver on their pro-jobs and pro-economic growth promises to the American people. The hydraulic fracturing rule was overly burdensome, duplicative of state standards, and was a prime example of gross federal overreach. Hydraulic fracturing is a safe and proven technology that has existed for over 60 years. Now is the time to utilize the full potential of this dynamic technology and ensure a stable supply of affordable, reliable energy, and drive down prices for gasoline, electricity, and home heating,” said Congressman Lamborn.
"I welcome the important step taken today by the Trump Administration to empower states by rescinding BLM's duplicative fracking rule. Obama-era policies aimed to destroy our fossil fuel industry by forcing American companies to sacrifice job creation, research, development and exploration in the name of complying with unnecessary regulations and red tape. These actions threatened economic stability in Wyoming and represented nothing short of a war on western energy production. I look forward to continuing my work with Wyoming's delegation, my colleagues in Congress and the Trump administration to unleash the potential of our fossil fuel industries which support our people, our jobs, and our way of life," concluded Congresswoman Cheney.
Today, the Department of the Interior announced its plan to rescind the Obama Administration's BLM hydraulic fracturing rule through a new proposed rule in a Federal Register notice scheduled to be published tomorrow.
On June 24, 2015, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl granted a stay of BLM’s rule citing the fact that Congress never granted authority to the Department of Interior to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
The Obama Administration fracking rule would have created new burdensome requirements for well construction, wastewater management and chemical disclosure.
The Obama rule sought to impose an entirely redundant regulatory process that would have intensified existing permitting delays at the federal level. Most states process permits in 30 days or less. In December of 2016, the BLM reported that the agency’s average processing time for permits was 220 days.
Hydraulic fracturing has played an important role in the development of America's oil and natural gas resources for more than 60 years. In the United States, it is estimated that over one million wells have been fracked since the 1940s. Studies estimate that up to 80 percent of natural gas wells drilled in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing to properly complete well setup.
(Courtesy of the American Action Forum’s Regulation Rodeo)
The rule is estimated to cost $49.9 million dollars to implement and creates more than 50,000 hours of paperwork for compliance.