Wyo. gov. to Interior: Back off on fracking rules

CNBC –  Wednesday, 12 Sep 2012

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has asked the Interior Department to scale back — or abandon altogether — proposed rules that would require petroleum companies to disclose the chemicals they inject down well bores during hydraulic fracturing.

The proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule resembles one already in place in Wyoming. For two years now, Wyoming has required companies to disclose the ingredients in their “fracking” chemicals.

Having similar rules on both the federal and state level is duplicative and unnecessary, Mead wrote Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Monday.

“The effect is fewer jobs, less economic development and a dangerous precedent for future regulatory actions,” the governor wrote.

The BLM should either reject the proposal, he wrote, or at least “give maximum deference to states” with regard to fracking regulation.

Monday was the deadline for public comment on the proposed rules. The BLM had pushed back the comment deadline by two months.

When the rules might take effect isn’t clear. No small part depends on whether President Barack Obama is re-elected or if Mitt Romney wins and abandons the idea.

“This administration’s priority is to continue to expand domestic oil and gas production, while ensuring that takes place safely and responsibly,” Interior spokesman Blake Androff said by email. “It is important that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place.”

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