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Senators Reject Department of Interior’s Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation with Introduction of FRESH Act

June 27, 2013 in Politics & Elections

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today reintroduced the Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands (FRESH) Act of 2013 (S.1234) for the 113th Congress. The bill is cosponsored by the EPW committee’s Ranking Member Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) along with Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.). Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has reintroduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

‘States have been safely and effectively regulating hydraulic fracturing since it was first done in Duncan, Oklahoma in 1949,’ said Inhofe. ‘Since then, a robust regulatory structure has emerged in every state where hydraulic fracturing occurs. States and industry have developed strong working relationships so that today’s regulations match the industry’s practices and provide effective environmental protection. The Department of Interior’s foray into this space is simply an attempt to further hinder oil and gas production on federal lands and makes it more difficult for us to achieve domestic energy independence.

Streamlined regulations are critical if we are going to achieve this important goal, but the DOI’s rules are duplicative and add unnecessary layers of complication and compliance to the already frustrating business of developing energy in the federal mineral estate. The DOI should abandon its rulemaking effort and simply defer to the states to continue effectively regulating the process when it occurs on federal lands.’

Sen. Vitter added, ‘All too often we see the federal government using flawed science on hydraulic fracturing, even though the states have shown they are capable of regulating themselves. There has been such positive progress with hydraulic fracturing – clearly the brightest spot in our otherwise slumping economy – and this bill gives states the freedom they need to be effective in providing proper safety protocols while growing American businesses. Just recently the EPA was forced to step aside in Wyoming and allow the state to take the lead, and we want this to be the case nationwide.’

‘Hydraulic fracturing has allowed for an unprecedented increase in the production of domestic sources of oil and …read more


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