Energy Producers Sue Obama Admin over New Fracking Regulations

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
Washington D.C.

Only an hour after the Obama administration released new rules for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, the oil and natural gas industry had a response to the rules.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Western Energy Alliance immediately filed a lawsuit on Friday after the government issued the administration’s first major regulations for fracking on federal and American Indian land.

The lawsuit charges that the new regulations are based on “unsubstantiated concerns” that lack any scientific basis.

“Hydraulic fracturing has been conducted safely and responsibly in the United States for over sixty years,” Barry Russell, president of IPAA, said in a statement on Friday. “These newly mandated fees will add burdensome new costs on our independent producers, taking investments away from developing new American-made energy, much-needed job creation and economic growth.”

The regulations will require drillers to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking and mandates that they contain any waste water that results from the work. New standards for construction of wells are also mandated.

The industry isn’t alone in criticizing the new regulations.

GOP criticism was strong. “If Interior was half as interested in new production as it is in new regulation, our nation would be in a far better place,” Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said.

Additionally, twenty-seven Republicans introduced a bill to block the rules.

But criticism of the rules also came from the left, with environmentalists complaining that the rules didn’t go far enough.

Arizona Democrat Raúl Grijalva said, “Instead of offering clarity and protecting our resources, today’s rule lets industry off the hook.”

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