The Associated Equipment Distributors have issues a statement regarding the latest round of federal regulation over the practice of hydraulic fracturing:
“On March 26, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released long-anticipated regulations concerning hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands.
The new rule is expected to cover about 100,000 oil and gas wells drilled on public lands when it takes effect in 90 days. The regulation’s key components include:
• Requiring a validation of well integrity and strong cement barriers between the wellbore and water zones through which the wellbore passes;
• Mandating companies to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing to the Bureau of Land Management through the website FracFocus, within 30 days of completing fracturing operations;
• Increasing standards for interim storage of recovered waste fluids from hydraulic fracturing to mitigate risks to air, water and wildlife; and
• Forcing companies to submit more detailed information on the geology, depth, and location of preexisting wells to afford the BLM an opportunity to better evaluate and manage unique site characteristics.
The new rules represent the federal government’s intrusion into what has traditionally been a state issue, creating a precedent for future attempts by regulators, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to issue mandates that discourage innovation and expansion in the shale energy industry with no health or safety benefit. AED has long held the position that the benefits and impacts of shale energy development are best measured and understood at the state level; therefore, the practice should continue to be regulated locally and not by the federal government.
The American Petroleum Institute (API), which AED works closely with on many energy issues, is concerned with the rule’s impact. API’s Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito notes, “A duplicative layer of new federal regulation is unnecessary, and we urge the BLM to work carefully with the states to minimize costs and delays created by the new rule to ensure that public lands can still be a source of job creation and economic growth.”
Stay tuned as AED continues to monitor efforts by federal agencies to hinder America’s new energy future.”
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