Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the Department of the Interior released a long-anticipated and highly controversial finalized rule on hydraulic fracturing and well construction on federal lands. Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) released the following statement:
"I disagree with the underlying premise of this duplicative and nonsensical rule. What this Administration fails to understand or prefers to ignore, is that states have been responsibly and effectively regulating energy development for decades.
"Working under supervision of states, which have the geological expertise and technical experience that the federal government lacks, hydraulic fracturing coupled with directional drilling has unlocked the United States' vast energy potential, catapulting our nation to become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. This success story is now being targeted by the Obama Administration as its next victim of federal bureaucratic intrusion, even though Secretary Sally Jewell and other top officials have attested to the safety of the process.
"The BLM severely underestimates the added costs and delays that this rule will cause by overlaying upon existing state regulations that have a proven record of safety. Additionally, the state variance provision, how a state proves that they already meet or exceed the specified criteria, demonstrates the duplicity of the rule in the first place and will create an entanglement of bureaucracy previously unseen in our nation's energy history.
"What's the result? Producers will be driven from federal lands. Energy development on federal lands will be marginalized. Less money will flow into the federal treasury. More local communities will be denied economic opportunities associated with energy development, including funding for education.
"The Western states, where federal lands are found, will bear the brunt of this anti-economic development rule, which is costumed as environmental protection. My kids, who are still in school, and my neighbors' kids will be the victims as they will have fewer and more expensive education opportunities, thanks to diminished revenue for education. The Administration is once again clandestinely picking winners and losers, and this rule is aimed squarely at the West.
"This rule is the latest notch in the President's coveted climate legacy, but it is not good for the West and it is not good for our country."