U.S. Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) introduced legislation that would delay further action on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed rule in the "Oil and Gas; Well Stimulation, Including Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands" until the Secretary of the Interior submits a report examining the effects of the rule.
"If the Obama administration wants to continue to derail safe and efficient domestic energy production, then they must be transparent in their actions and reasoning. This burdensome new rule, as originally proposed by BLM, would have significant negative consequences for American energy security and job growth," said Congressman Flores. "Oil and gas activities have been safe, efficient and abundant on private lands, yet production on energy-rich federal lands remains stagnant due to regulatory uncertainty. There is no need for a federal one-size-fits-all regulation on activity that is already being effectively regulated by the states."
In May of this year, the BLM proposed a rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. In June, the comment period for the proposed rule was extended for an additional 60 days. The Federal Lands Energy Regulatory Certainly Act, H.R. 6235, introduced by Flores, would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study and report the effect that the proposed rule would have on: the development and production of oil and natural gas; the impacts on royalty revenue to the Treasury; the staffing and other resource demand required to enforce the regulation; and the potential conflicts with existing state and federal regulations. After the preliminary report is submitted there will be a 120 day open comment period prior to the submission of a final report.
"H.R. 6235 requires the BLM to complete a comprehensive analysis to illustrate what impacts their proposed federal one-size-fits-all regulation would have on jobs and our energy security. This is important in light of the fact that our states already have successful approaches to regulation. Technology improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have had a significant positive impact on America's energy supply and security," stated Flores. "The regulatory expansion activities of the Obama administration are causing increased expenses and uncertainty for oil and gas exploration and production on our federal lands, which results in a decrease in jobs and higher energy prices for consumers. In addition, the Administration's failure to recognize the value of our abundant taxpayer owned resources causes our country to remain overly dependent on unstable Middle East energy resources."