Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Obama administration decries judge’s ruling in Utah fracking case

The Obama administration last week decried a ruling by a federal judge that blocks rules for hydraulic fracturing, saying the decision prevents regulators from using “21st-century standards” to ensure that oil and gas operations are conducted safely on public lands. Jessica Kershaw, a spokeswoman for the Interior Department, said “modernized fracking requirements” imposed by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell reflect best industry practices and are aimed at ensuring adequate well control, preventing groundwater contamination and increasing transparency about the materials used in fracking. Kershaw’s comments came after a judge in Wyoming ruled late the day before that federal regulators lack authority to set rules for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl deals another setback to the Obama administration’s efforts to tighten how fossil fuels are mined. The states of Colorado, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming oppose the rules involving hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground to increase production from oil and gas wells. The White House cast the ruling as a temporary setback while it awaits a decision from the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which is also reviewing the rule...more

I wrote about this excellent ruling here.

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