Skip to comments.Obama administration delays hydraulic fracturing rule
Posted on 01/21/2013 3:53:52 AM PST by thackney
In response to criticism from both the oil industry and environmentalists, the Obama administration is scrapping a 2012 plan to impose tough new mandates governing drilling on public lands.
The decision to replace last years proposal with an entirely new draft rule and take public comment on the initiative forces a major delay in the final regulations, which are set to be the first major federal rules governing the hydraulic fracturing process key to unlocking oil and gas nationwide.
Interior Department spokesman Blake Androff confirmed the Bureau of Land Management would propose the new draft by the end of March after making improvements . . . in order to maximize flexibility, facilitate coordination with state practices and ensure that operators on public lands implement best practices.
The proposed rule aims to tighten standards for oil and natural gas unlocked through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping a mix of sand, chemicals and water underground to free hydrocarbons trapped in dense rock formations.
The measure unveiled last May would have forced energy companies to reveal the chemicals they use when drilling for oil and natural gas on federal lands, but in a move that riled environmentalists, the Interior Department decided to require those disclosures only after the substances are pumped underground. The proposed rule also would have imposed new well construction standards, testing requirements and mandates for managing and storing water that flows back after fracturing begins.
It is unclear how much the proposal could change, but it appears likely the new draft rule will still include some kind of chemical disclosure, well-bore integrity assurances and plans for managing flowback water. The Bureau of Land Management is using more than 170,000 public comments to guide the rewrite.
Androff said the 2012 draft leverages technologies already in use by companies to protect important water resources and improve transparency.
Many companies are already implementing these best practices, he said.
The regulation would only cover a sliver of the United States onshore oil and natural gas production _ roughly 6 and 13 percent respectively, according to ClearView Energy Partners _ but industry officials fear it could provide the foundation and justification for broader mandates in the future. The oil and gas industry has generally argued that state regulators are best positioned to oversee drilling.
Industry trade groups had asked the administration to reconsider the rule after warning that compliance costs could discourage energy production on federal lands.
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said he welcomed the administrations decision but the real test will be in the substance of the re-proposal.
The shale energy revolution is reshaping Americas energy future, Gerard added. We need to be smart about regulating it.
BLM right to reconsider hydraulic fracturing rules
API President and CEO Jack Gerard welcomed the Bureau of Land Management decision to take proposed federal hydraulic fracturing regulations back to the drawing board.
API asked the administration to reconsider the rules, and we welcome this move as a positive first step. said Gerard. However, the real test will be in the substance of the re-proposal. We hope the administration will recognize the strong oversight provided by existing state and federal regulations and take sufficient time to review the many thoughtful comments provided by the oil and natural gas industry and others. Effective regulation of hydraulic fracturing already exists in the states. Conflicting or duplicative federal requirements would delay development of abundant domestic oil and natural gas and threaten jobs and revenue to the federal treasury, without providing additional environmental protection.
API formally commented to the BLM on the proposed regulations in June of 2012 and requested extensive changes to make the final rule workable.
The shale energy revolution is reshaping Americas energy future, added Gerard. We need to be smart about regulating it. Any federal rules must recognize the states leadership in this area and coordinate with existing state requirements, as well as have a better technical foundation, and be cost-effective.
Acknowledging the states existing authority of shale energy development, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said you can’t start to talk about a federal role without acknowledging the very strong state role.
API is a national trade association that represents all segments of Americas technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms provide most of the nations energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
I'll work up the fines on my next vacation.....Well, I mean Jarrett will.
We can provide 500,000 "union" agents for inspection. Many of them worked on my campaign.
First they will try and take away all guns, then and only then totally trash the economy.
Idi Obama Dada will do anything to slow the American economy.
How ironic that the only two industries doing well under the Leftist Overlord (LO) are petroleum and firearms.
Just imagine how well we would be doing with energy if LO hadn’t effectively banned the use of coal.
The wheels on the bus
Go round and round
Round and round
Round and round
Barry needs the cash to
Grow the Gov
so Greenies meet the tires