Western Energy Alliance Applauds Delay of Redundant BLM Fracing Rule, Renews Call for Full Suspension

June 25, 2012

New regulations would cost up to $1.6 million and threaten American jobs

(DENVER)- Western Energy Alliance today applauded a decision by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to extend the comment period on its proposed plan to slow domestic energy development by placing redundant new regulations on hydraulic fracturing (fracing). Western Energy Alliance also renewed its call for BLM to suspend these unnecessary new regulations until it has completed a full economic analysis.

A recent analysis of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) proposed rule to regulate fracing on public lands showed a cost to society of at least $1.499 billion and as high as $1.615 billion annually, and a diversion of productive resources away from energy development, job creation, and economic growth, which would further disadvantage western states.

"Fracing has been successfully regulated by states for generations, including on federal lands, with no incident of contamination that would necessitate additional federal regulation," said Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Western Energy Alliance.

"While extending the commenting period is a step in the right direction, BLM has yet to acknowledge that a thorough economic analysis is required for major rules that exceed the $100 million cost threshold," continued Sgamma. "Western Energy Alliance calls on the federal government to abandon plans to move forward with this rule until the full economic impacts are known."

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 failed to conduct a full economic assessment required for rules with over $100 million in annual costs, and therefore the rule violates the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, and Executive Order 12866 Regulatory Planning and Review.
  • Several western governors, Tribes, Members of Congress, and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission have publicly opposed BLM regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands.

Click here to read the economic analysis prepared by John Dunham & Associates quantifying the $1.499 - $1.615 billion cost.

Click here to read Western Energy Alliance's letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Click here to read Western Energy Alliance's letter to Secretary Ken Salazar requesting a suspension of the rule.

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.