U.S. District Court strikes down contested BLM hydraulic fracturing regulations

Published on June 27, 2016 by Alyssa Michaud

In a critical verdict on June 21, U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl ruled in favor of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Western Energy Alliance’s challenge to the 2015 regulations issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands.

“America’s energy renaissance has been one of the key components in revitalizing our economy and keeping that momentum going has been U.S. independent oil and natural gas producers’ top priority,” IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell said. “Independent producers are good stewards of our lands. We recognize that every energy-producing area has different needs and requirements, which is why the states are far more effective at properly regulating hydraulic fracturing than the federal government.”

House Energy and commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) praised the court’s decision, calling the ruling a positive move toward affordable energy and jobs.

“There is no gray area, Congress clearly intended for the states to regulate hydraulic fracturing, not the federal government,” Upton and Whitfield said. “The good news is, the ruling was the right decision, and it’s a victory for affordable energy and jobs. The bad news is, this kind of overreach has come to define the Obama administration. The administration may not like the way the Founding Fathers designed our government, but the rule of law matters.”