President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency today finalized a 588-page rule that expands regulations for oil and natural gas production to add complex new requirements affecting a variety of oil and gas production operations, including hydraulically fractured wells. House Energy and Commerce leaders responded to this latest regulation with concern for the rule's potential adverse impacts on our economy, including the potential for disproportionate impacts on small producers. EPA estimates that 46 percent of the affected firms are small businesses.
"The Obama administration says publicly that they are in favor of energy production then use rules and regulations to stifle development. New technologies are unlocking vast reserves of oil and natural gas that can power our nation for generations in an environmentally friendly way. Instead of doing proper research and relying on sound science, the EPA is playing politics with our nation's energy supply and economy," said Energy and Commerce Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX).
"This rule is another example of EPA expanding its role in national energy policy. The president says he wants to promote American energy production, yet he continues to allow EPA to issue regulations that increase environmental regulatory requirements and impose more red tape for domestic producers of affordable energy," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). "American energy production on state and private lands remains a bright spot in our economy but EPA's layers of red tape threaten to stifle job creation and industry growth, especially for small businesses. We should be focusing on solutions to remove government barriers to affordable energy. Instead, the administration continues to layer regulation after regulation that will drive electricity and fuel prices even higher."
"Regardless of how this rule is phased in, it could still have a significant impact on America's independent oil and natural gas producers. When it comes to our national energy policy, this administration preaches "all of the above' but has practiced a "nothing from below' approach. EPA's failure to consider the impact their regulatory agenda is having on jobs, domestic energy production and economic recovery keep moving us further from our goal of powering our nation with affordable and stable sources of American-made energy. The oil and natural gas sitting under our feet is a precious resource that we cannot afford to ignore," said Energy and Power Subcommittee Vice-Chairman John Sullivan (R-OK).
Republican members on the committee previously wrote to the agency expressing concern that the rule as proposed will threaten American jobs, energy production, and economic growth.