Western Energy Alliance Supports Reassessment of BLM's Fracing Rule

December 12, 2012

$1.5 billion regulation would threaten American jobs

(DENVER)- Western Energy Alliance commended the Department of the Interior on its decision not to rush the final hydraulic fracturing rule. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule was originally envisioned for release by the end of the year, but more time is needed to adequately review the 170,000 comments received. "We're pleased that the Interior Department has decided to engage in a more deliberative process, rather than trying to rush the rule," said Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs.

"Industry, states, and tribes have provided very detailed technical comments that highlight the impracticalities and complexities of the proposed rule, and how it infringes on state water rights and existing regulations. It makes sense that BLM is taking more time to adjust the rule, but we believe a wholesale rethinking is necessary. With an estimated cost to society of $1.5 billion, BLM needs to slow down, conduct the economic analysis that was missing from the proposed rule, and consult with states and tribes. We believe if BLM performed that proper analysis, it would determine that a new, redundant rule is not necessary."

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 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.