Fracking      10th%20Circuit

Wyoming Judge To BLM: Hands Off Oil and Gas Development

A federal judge in Wyoming struck down the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s fracking rule for federal and Indian lands, finding that BLM lacked congressional authority to issue the regulations. The Obama fracking rule added a permit requirement for hydraulic fracturing on BLM lands, tightened regulations for well construction, wastewater storage and chemical disclosures for hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian lands. The rule has been mired in litigation since it was released in 2015.

The Obama rule was widely criticized by the oil and gas industry, states (Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and Utah), and Indian tribes as exceeding BLM’s regulatory authority. Frequent commentary against the rule also focused on the new costly permitting and regulatory requirements with little or no environmental payoff to justify the rule’s existence.

The future of the rule is now in the hands of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeal.