BLM Releases Revised Rules for Fracking – Why it Matters

In May 2012, the Dept. of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a new list of rules for fracking on federal lands (see BLM Issues Proposed New Rule for Fracking Federal Lands for a copy of the original proposed rules). The proposal was a disaster and quickly pulled by the BLM for reconsideration. A year hence and they’re back with BLM’s Fracking Rules 2, a revision of their rules for how drillers must operate on federal lands. A full copy of the newly revised rules is embedded below.

Reaction to the new rules, by the drilling industry, is tepid. The American Petroleum Institute rightly asks: Why do we need federal rules for something that’s working just fine as regulated by the states? You may wonder why MDN cares about this issue when there’s virtually no federal land in the Marcellus/Utica region–most federally-owned land (700 million acres) is in the Western U.S. Why care? Because these rules will likely one day be expanded to cover private land too (see Feds ‘Hope’ States will Use BLM Rules for ALL Fracking).

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