GOP Governors & Attorneys General Ask President Obama to Withdraw Proposed Anti-Fracking Rule

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), sent a letter to President Barack Obama today reiterating the need to withdraw a rule proposed by the Bureau of Land Management that would regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands.

The RGA and RAGA sent a letter in July that has gone unanswered by the Obama Administration.

A copy of the most recent letter is attached and an excerpt is below:

The strong and efficient track record of states to regulate oil and natural gas production — as well as the rule’s significant and destructive impacts on our states — should not be ignored, and needs to be taken into serious consideration. As stated in our July 10, 2012 letter, which is attached, we request the BLM withdraw the proposal based on the following:

  • The arbitrary and capricious nature of the proposal by the lack of justification, erroneous cost estimates, clearly overstated and unfounded benefits, and failure to take into account the strong objections of affected states.
  • The economic harm that states will suffer, both by increased costs to its citizens and investors, and by lost revenues.
  • The states, not the federal government, are best positioned to appropriately regulate hydraulic fracturing operations. Current state regulations already provide effective and efficient oversight that is specific to the needs of the states.

The BLM’s proposed rule only will discourage exploration and production on federal and Indian lands, potentially costing the federal government — and states that share in federal royalties — billions of dollars in revenue. The BLM rule places sweeping new regulations on hydraulic fracturing and related operations without any demonstrated problems that might need to be addressed. The BLM’s proposal:

  • Adds significant and unnecessary costs to the production of oil and natural gas without assuring additional environmental protection;
  • Includes numerous expensive and time-delaying measures such as cement bond logs that do not guarantee additional safety or effectiveness;
  • Creates cost impacts to the oil and natural gas industry that greatly exceed $100 million, rendering the BLM rule noncompliant with various federal orders and acts. In fact, the BLM and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are in possession of third party comments and documentation of annual potential costs in excess of $1.4 billion;  
  • Includes complicated permitting requirements that would further delay federal permitting times, which already may be measured in months or even years, compared with weeks for permits granted by states. This would discourage exploration and production on federal and Indian lands, leading to significant lost investment and employment for states with federal lands;
  • Grossly underestimates the investment and employment costs of implementation. The agency even has gone so far as to state, incorrectly, a belief that employment will go up because of additional work that will be required to comply with the proposed new regulations;
  • Must be based on sound science and proven engineering practices, acknowledging differences between regions based on geography, geologic formations, hydrology and historic conditions of the areas. Current state regulations already provide appropriate oversight that is specific to the needs of the states.