U.S. District Court of Wyoming Grants Preliminary Injunction of Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

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Neal Kirby / Jeff Eshelman
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For Immediate Release
September 30, 2015
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a decision today by U.S. District Court of Wyoming Judge Scott W. Skavdahl that granted a preliminary injunction of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President Barry Russell released the following statement:

“We are pleased to see Judge Skavdahl agrees with our request to first hear the merits of our case before this final federal rule goes into effect. Today’s decision is consistent with IPAA’s position that BLM’s efforts are not needed and that states are – and have for 60 years been – in the best position to safely regulate hydraulic fracturing.

“As the federal judge noted, ‘At this point, the Court does not believe Congress has granted or delegated to the BLM authority to regulate fracking.’ Judge Skavdahl notes further, ‘An administrative agency derives its existence and authority to regulate from Congressional authorization or delegation. Congress has not authorized or delegated to the BLM authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing and, under our constitutional structure, it is only through Congressional action that the BLM can acquire this authority.’

“As IPAA stated in its March 20 lawsuit, BLM’s rulemaking is ‘a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns’ and we requested the regulations be set aside because the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action.

“The industry’s arguments have provided a compelling argument to stop the agency from moving forward. This ruling guarantees that the BLM cannot put the hydraulic fracturing rule in place until the entire case is concluded,” concluded Russell.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Western Energy Alliance filed a lawsuit in Wyoming’s federal district court in March against the U.S. Department of the Interior challenging its new federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing. The complaint characterizes BLM’s rulemaking as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns” and requests the regulations be set aside because the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action. States have an outstanding record of protecting the environment and safeguarding the public. This new rule is simply another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration that will hurt America’s oil and natural gas producers.

The states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and the Ute Indian Tribe also filed similar lawsuits.

About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is the leading, national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 95 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting www.ipaa.org.

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