May 4, 2012
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement on the new regulations issued today by the Department of the Interior on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands:
“The Obama Administration is imposing more regulation and more red-tape, and the result will be less American jobs and less American energy. Adding duplicate, burdensome regulations to the safe-practice of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands is the fastest way to drive away job-creating American energy producers. This technology has the potential to revitalize our economy and provide an abundance of American energy, but that’s not possible if it becomes strangled in the web of bureaucratic rules and delays. The Bureau of Land Management already has a backlog of projects waiting to be permitted and imposing these new regulations will only add to the delays. In addition, American Indian tribal leaders have expressed serious concerns about the lack of tribal consultation and transparency in the development of this rule. By moving to finalize this rule without addressing those concerns, the Administration is showing a callous disregard for the very real Trust responsibilities we hold. In the end, this is one more example of the Obama Administration growing government and imposing new, duplicative, and unnecessary roadblocks to American energy production on federal and Indian lands.”
Hydraulic fracturing has been effectively regulated by states for over 60 years and is responsible for 30 percent of our domestic oil and natural gas production. From the first moment Secretary Salazar in November 2010 mentioned possible new federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands, House Natural Resources Committee Republicans have conducted aggressive oversight on this issue.
This week, the Energy and Minerals Subcommittee held a field hearing in Denver, CO on the Interior Department’s draft hydraulic fracturing regulations. Witnesses representing Western energy producers, public policy experts and local businesses testified about the harm to job creation, local economies and America's energy production that could result from the Obama Administration’s regulations.
On April 19, 2012, the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs held an oversight hearing on the impact of the Interior Department’s hydraulic fracturing regulations on Indian Tribal energy development. Indian Tribal lands hold a significant amount of oil and natural gas that could help Tribes create jobs, spur economic development and help improve education, health and infrastructure. Unfortunately, many Tribes are concerned that they were left out of the Bureau of Land Management’s rulemaking process and that the current draft rule could greatly impede Tribes’ ability to develop their own energy resources.
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