Governor Urges Interior to Reconsider Proposed Rule

SALT LAKE CITY – Referring to hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells as “a process used responsibly for more than 60 years,” Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert strongly urged the head of the U.S. Department of the Interior to reconsider and reject the need for new regulatory requirements, calling them a “redundant, burdensome and costly layer of federal approval” for routine operations.

The Governor’s letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, dated March 1, 2012, urges the federal agency head to consider whether the proposed rule is antithetical to President Barack Obama’s remarks in the 2012 State of the Union address, “promising a commitment to ‘take every possible action to safely develop’ domestic natural gas.”

“Because hydraulic fracturing has been safely used for decades in the responsible development of oil and gas in this nation, and the proposed regulation does nothing but add unnecessary red tape, decrease investment and jobs in rural western states, and increase the amount of energy the United States imports from foreign energy sources,” Governor Herbert wrote, “we are hard-pressed to understand how the draft regulation supports the President’s statement.”

Copies of the Governor’s letter to Salazar were also sent to members of Utah’s congressional delegation; Bob Abbey, Bureau of Land Management Director; and state officials over energy, environment and public lands.