IPAA, WEA presidents seek meeting with Salazar on fracing rule

This article was updated Sept. 11.

The presidents of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance asked to meet with US Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar to discuss an impending US Bureau of Land Management rule for hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas well stimulation on federal and Indian lands.

“The proposed rule is unnecessary, excessive and requires actions that no state currently regulating oil and natural gas production deems necessary, based on their decades of regulatory experience,” IPAA’s Barry Russell and WEA’s Tim Wigley said in their Sept. 10 letter to the secretary.

“The effort will also place undue economic burdens and time delays on independent producers that will inevitably drive many smaller companies away from exploring for oil and gas on federal lands,” they warned.

BLM should look for opportunities to work with individual states which already regulate such activity, Russell and Wigley recommended. IPAA and WEA also jointly filed comments on the proposed rule on behalf of their members as well as 48 other state and regional oil and gas associations.

The American Petroleum Institute also submitted comments on the proposed rule. It said the proposal has not been supported by technical or scientific information demonstrating that existing federal and state regulations governing fracing on federal land aren’t adequate.

API suggested that BLM withdraw the proposed rule and carefully analyze its current regulations, onshore orders, and other administrative policies concerning regulation of drilling, well completion, and other practices instead.

It recommended that BLM do this in collaboration with state agencies operating under similar mandates and organizations such as the Groundwater Protection Council and the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER).

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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