October 24, 2012
Technological advances in the state-regulated practices of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have caused oil and natural production from shale reservoirs on state and private lands to significantly increase over the past four years. Hydraulic fracturing is currently responsible for 30 percent of our domestic oil and natural gas production and represents one of the greatest opportunities for increasing our Nation’s energy security. While states like North Dakota have seen oil production increase by 500% since President Obama took office due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands, the Obama Administration has been cobbling together mountains of government red-tape and burdensome regulations to make it nearly impossible for similar successful energy production on federal lands. Though President Obama frequently talks about his support for oil and natural gas, his Administration has imposed job-costing regulations and roadblocks that will keep these resources under lock and key.
While the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency was considering new regulations on hydraulic fracturing on private and state lands, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on November 30, 2010 announced that he was considering a new proposal to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
In 2011, President Obama’s U.S. Forest Service proposed banning horizontal drilling on 1.1 acres of the George Washington National Forest. The Marcellus Shale, one of the nation’s largest shale gas plays, underlies 50% of the George Washington National Forest.
On May 4, 2012 the Obama Administration’s Interior Department issued new hydraulic fracturing regulations on federal and Tribal lands. Requiring duplicative, burdensome regulations on the state-regulated, safe practice of hydraulic fracturing will stifle energy production and cost American jobs. These regulations were met with strong opposition by States and energy job creators:
“The consequences to energy producing states and the nation will be fewer jobs, a less predictable energy supply and less state and federal revenue from mineral royalties.” (Shawn Reese, Policy Director for Wyoming Governor Matthew Mead, 5/2/12)
“The permitting on federal lands in the Rockies is already a long, cumbersome and costly process. BLM regulations have pushed much of current energy development to the private lands of the east where there is no federal regulation. New fracking regulations from BLM would sound the death knell for oil and gas development on federal lands of the Rockies.” (Christopher Rockers, CEO of Magna Energy Services, 5/2/12)
Tribal leaders also expressed concerns with the Interior Department’s new regulations. 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 BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rulemaking process and that federal regulation could greatly impede Tribes’ ability to develop their own energy resources.
“Since energy development began on the Reservation we have struggled with the federal bureaucracy for every single oil and gas permit…BLM’s proposed regulations may add so much delay, uncertainty and cost to the oil and gas permitting process that they may be forced to pull their drilling rigs off the Reservation…BLM’s actions to date have given me and other tribes the impression that tribal input is not desired or only minimally needed even though there is strong evidence that the proposed regulations will cost the MHA Nation and the surrounding community a sizable number of jobs and money.” (Tex G. Hall, Chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of the Fort Berthold Reservation, 4/19/12)
To learn more about how the Obama Administration has blocked, delayed and hindered American energy production, visit http://naturalresources.house.gov/roadblocks
Click here to read Obama Administration American Energy Roadblocks Part 1: Offshore Drilling.
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