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Floor Statements

Chairman Hastings: Duplicative Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations are Unnecessary, Will Cost American Jobs

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings delivered the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act:

“Mr. Chairman, the Obama Administration is once again attempting to block new American energy production – keeping energy prices high and hurting middle-class families. The Department of the Interior is proposing new regulations on the practice of hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. These regulations, once implemented next year, will in all likelihood add new layers of red-tape and lower energy production even further on federal land.

For over two years the Natural Resources Committee has conducted extensive oversight of the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations. We’ve held multiple hearings across the country and have heard from energy experts, tribal leaders and state officials who all had the same message: these are bad regulations that will potentially destroy jobs and stifle American energy production.

According to one study, these new federal regulations would cost nearly $350 million annually. As a consequence, the 1.7 million jobs that are currently supported by shale oil and natural gas production, a number that’s expected to increase to 2.5 million by 2015, would be put in jeopardy.

Even worse, these proposed federal regulations duplicate efforts already being carried out by states across the country.

Hydraulic fracturing has been safely and effectively regulated by states for decades. So the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations are unnecessary, redundant and simply waste precious time and money duplicating what is already being done successfully.

That is why two Members from Texas, Rep. Bill Flores and Rep. Henry Cuellar, introduced the bipartisan H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act. This bill prohibits the Interior Department from enforcing duplicative hydraulic fracturing regulations in any state that already has regulations, or will adopt regulations in the future, and recognizes states’ authority to regulate this type of activity.

This bill acknowledges that states are doing a good and effective job regulating this activity – and ironically officials from the Obama Administration have admitted that there has not been one known case of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing. There reason I mention this is because groundwater contamination is the argument most frequently used against this process.

The bill also recognizes that states are able to carefully craft regulations to meet the unique geologic and hydrologic needs of their states. A ‘one size fits all’ regulatory structure, like the Obama Administration is trying to impose, will not work and is not the answer.

I want to be very clear. This bill does not prevent the federal government from implementing baseline standards in states where none exist. This bill simply prevents the federal government from wasting time, money and resources by imposing duplicative red-tape on a process that is widely regarded as being properly regulated by states.

I urge all my colleagues to support this important legislation and reserve the balance of my time.”


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