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House Democrats to Reintroduce Public Lands Frack Ban Bill

In a move that's unlikely to advance in a Republican-controlled Congress, two House Democrats plan to reintroduce a bill banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public lands.

Alex Nguyen, spokesman for Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), confirmed to NGI's Shale Daily that both Pocan and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) are expected to unveil a bill on Wednesday that is similar to HR 5844. Pocan introduced that bill in the last Congress. It was referred to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources but didn't come up for a vote.

HR 5844, also known as the "Protect Our Public Lands Act," would have amended the Mineral Leasing Act by banning fracking on publically-owned land.

According to Nguyen, representatives from the American Sustainable Business Council, Progressive Democrats of America, and Senior Counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity were also to attend the press briefing to introduce the bill.

Last month, the Department of Interior (DOI) issued a long-anticipated rule governing fracking on public and tribal lands (see Shale Daily, March 20). The rule requires operators, among other things, to temporarily store produced water in aboveground tanks and disclose most of the chemicals they use to the FracFocus registry.

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