Feds mandate one-size-fits-all rules on Hydraulic Fracturing

SALT LAKE CITY (March 20, 2015) – With today’s announcement, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has ignored Utah’s successful model and chosen to embrace a one-size-fits-all approach for regulating hydraulic fracturing that reduces the ability of states to respond to local needs. This federally-led regulatory approach increases costs and delays for industry and may threaten Utah’s proven ability to effectively regulate oil and gas production in Utah.

“This is a case of Washington, D.C. seeking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “At a time when the oil and natural gas industry is facing incredible cost uncertainties, these new, duplicative federal mandates make it more difficult for independent producers to invest, more difficult to produce and more difficult to keep our American energy renaissance moving forward.”

Every state and region has different geologic, hydrologic and management challenges that require state-driven expertise. States have been successfully regulating hydraulic fracturing for over 60 years. The Department of Interior has not identified any specific problems they have with existing state regulations.

The State of Utah has worked closely with the Bureau of Land Management to create a safe and efficient approval program for oil and gas drilling on federal lands located within the State of Utah. Led by the Utah Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, this cooperative program has worked effectively for decades to ensure that drilling and hydraulic fracturing were performed with the highest levels of safety and environmental protection. The results have been remarkable in protecting Utah’s environment, including avoiding any contamination of Utah’s water resources, and safeguarding the public. This cooperative approach has allowed Utah to tailor its program to address Utah’s specific needs and unique geology.