Senate Bill Would Empower States (Alone) to Regulate Fracking

Recognizing the federal government’s voracious appetite to usurp and seize control of rights that Constitutionally belong to the states—and in an effort to curb those tendencies in the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and Department of Energy—Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced new legislation on March 28th that will ensure oversight of hydraulic fracturing is done by the states and not the federal government.

Inhofe introduced Senate Bill S. 2248, Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands Act (FRESH Act for short). A copy of the bill is embedded below. The FRESH Act clarifies that states have the sole authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal land within the boundaries of the state. A side benefit of the bill, if it becomes law, would be to restrict federal interference in hydraulic fracturing—whether it’s on federal, state or private land.

So far, the bill has 9 co-sponsors in addition to Inhofe. In the House of Representatives a similar bill H.R. 4322 was introduced by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX). The House version has 26 co-sponsors.

Does the bill stand a chance of passing? Not this year. The Democrats control the Senate and they love federal power more than they love their own mothers. Same for President Obama. No way he’s going to sign away what he views as his divine right to regulate everything.

So until there’s a power change in Washington, this is a nice sentiment, but nothing more.