Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and several state attorneys general Monday signed a letter asking President Obama to pull the final rule on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public and Indian lands at the federal level.
Republicans, as well as natural gas producers, oppose federal regulation of fracking because they believe states have effectively policed the industry over the years. They argue that the BLM final rule would pancake state regulation of the oil and gas industry.
“The strong and efficient track record of states to regulate oil and natural gas production — as well as the rule’s significant and destructive impacts on our states — should not be ignored and needs to be taken into serious consideration,” said the the letter, as reported by The Oklahoma World.
The letter comes only days after Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs for Western Energy Alliance (WEA), said it was unlikely that Interior would issue a final fracking rule before the end of the year.
The original year-end deadline for the final rule “was more of a self-imposed deadline” set by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, she said (see Shale Daily, Dec. 14). But after receiving 170,000 comments on the proposed rule, “I think they just decided they couldn’t get it done by the end of the year,” she told NGI’s Shale Daily. The department has not indicated when it will issue the final rule in 2013. “Is it going to be two months, three months? I have no idea.”
WEA applauded Interior for seeking to “engage in a more deliberative process, rather than trying to rush the rule.” The group said, “it makes sense that BLM management 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 [a year], 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.”
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