This afternoon, in a victory for manufacturers and energy producers the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it would redraft a proposed hydraulic fracturing regulation for wells operated on federal and Indian lands. The original rule sought to make radical changes to the chemical disclosure and well construction procedures oil and gas drillers must follow before they can receive their permits to drill.
As originally drafted, BLM’s rule duplicated existing state regulations, its costs significantly outweighed its benefits, and it would almost certainly result in delays to drilling activities. The NAM explicitly asked BLM to withdraw the proposal and better harmonize its efforts with ongoing state regulations.
Manufacturers are encouraged by this afternoon’s announcement by BLM. The NAM believes the states should be the primary regulators of hydraulic fracturing and that the federal government should not be regulating until and unless it can prove that a compelling need exists for federal intervention.
Ross Eisenberg is vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.