September 30, 2015
Dear IPAA Member:
I’m pleased to announce that earlier today, a federal judge in Wyoming issued a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that prevents the agency from regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal lands until the court hears a case brought by IPAA and others against the federal agency and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
On March 20th, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Western Energy Alliance originally filed a lawsuit challenging the BLM’s new hydraulic fracturing regulations. The states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and the Ute Indian Tribe also filed similar lawsuits.
As the judge noted in today’s ruling: “At this point, the Court does not believe Congress has granted or delegated to the BLM authority to regulate fracking.” He notes further, “An administrative agency derives its existence and authority to regulate from Congressional authorization or delegation. Congress has not authorized or delegated to the BLM authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing and, under our constitutional structure, it is only through Congressional action that the BLM can acquire this authority.”
United State District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl’s ruling can be found here.
IPAA and Western Energy Alliance’s original complaint, filed in federal district court in Wyoming, characterizes BLM’s rulemaking as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns” and requests the regulations be set aside because the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action. States have an outstanding record of protecting the environment and safeguarding the public. This new rule is simply another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration that will hurt America’s oil and natural gas producers.
This is a big win for our industry and further validates our arguments regarding hydraulic fracturing.
We will keep you updated as this litigation moves forward.
President and CEO