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Public Statements

Olson Questions Intent, Practicality of New BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22) released this statement today regarding the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) proposed rule to require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on public and Indian lands.

"It's still early to tell how the new restrictions and red tape will slow or prevent drilling on federal lands, but I am afraid the suggested approach will present even longer delays, and may eliminate a company's competitive advantage by requiring them to disclose hard-earned trade secrets. I won't be surprised if many companies simply decide to avoid the risk of dealing with the federal government and take their jobs elsewhere. We should not allow this to happen. The new rules need to take into account reality and practicality, and they don't appear to do that. As a member of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, I am going to work hard during the 60 day comment period to make sure that if this rule does go into effect, it allows, not prevents, environmentally safe drilling on our public lands."

The BLM's proposed rule requires companies to make public the chemical formulas used in hydraulic fracturing, however, drillers often switch formulas in the course of drilling. Reinitiating the notice period in the middle of operations would unnecessarily add to the time and cost. In addition, the rules do not adequately address the proprietary aspects of many of these formulas.

"Federal lands in the United States make up almost one-third of our great nation. More than 600 million acres of land are held in trust by the government for the American people. Congress intended for these lands to benefit all people. We must weigh environmental impacts heavily when drilling for oil and gas because we are obligated to preserve these lands for future generations. However, the President should not be using these rules as a backdoor approach to end drilling on federal lands."


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