Western Energy Alliance Applauds BLM’s Intentions to Reissue Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

January 18, 2013

Continues to urge full economic analysis

(DENVER)- Western Energy Alliance applauded the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) decision today to reissue another draft of its hydraulic fracturing (fracing) 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," said Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs. "We continue to believe a federal fracing 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."

Quick Facts:

  • 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 fracing 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 fracing is premature.
  • BLM should conduct a full economic assessment required for rules with over $100 million in annual costs because 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.

Click here to read the economic analysis prepared by John Dunham & Associates quantifying the $1.5 billion cost.


About Western Energy Alliance
Western Energy Alliance, founded in 1974 as the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, is a non-profit trade association representing more than 400 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West. More information on Western Energy Alliance and its members is available at www.westernenergyalliance.org.