In 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued updated safety measures for fracking operations on public lands.
The measures, entitled “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands,” were crafted to ensure that:
- Oil wells are properly constructed to protect water supplies.
- Chemical wastes from fracking operations are managed in a responsible way.
- The public is told which fracking chemicals are being used and whether they could threaten water supplies.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration claims that these basic protections are inconvenient for its cronies in the oil and gas industry. Instead, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed a return to standards that are more than 30 years old and don’t account for the threats posed by modern fracking operations. This would allow one of the most lucrative industries of all time to continue to profit by playing fast and loose with our health and water.
You can help defend the fracking rule. The BLM is accepting public comments on the proposed withdrawal of the fracking rule until September 25. Tell Secretary Zinke to leave our commonsense protections in place.
More than a million Americans weighed in as the Obama administration spent nearly five years modernizing its standards. The new protections adopted by the BLM require drillers to disclose which chemicals they use in fracking fluids, to avoid using large waste pits that threaten groundwater and wildlife, and to perform tests on the integrity of the wells before drilling can begin. Industry and its allies have sued to stall the new protections, and Earthjustice has gone to court to defend them.
Now, however, the Trump administration wants to abandon the new protections as a favor to industry. If the BLM follows through on a repeal, it will increase the threat fracking poses to our public lands, drinking water, wildlife and public health and safety.
Over 1.3 million comments from activists like you got the final fracking rule in place. Now we need you to step up again and defend it. Urge the administration to stand by its updated protections and drop the proposed repeal.
Re: Proposed rescission of Bureau of Land Management Hydraulic Fracturing Rule, 82 Fed. Reg. 34464 (July 25, 2017)
Dear Secretary Zinke,
Please do not rescind the Bureau of Land Management's 2015 rule addressing hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The rule is the product of nearly five years of agency work, expert input, public comments and hearings, and it provides much-needed updates to the Bureau's existing regulations, which were last overhauled in the 1980s. The 2015 rule requires companies to store fracturing wastes in tanks rather than pits, and for the first time will require prior review and approval of fracturing operations on public and tribal lands. The rule also modernizes the agency's well construction and testing standards and mandates disclosure of the chemicals that companies use in fracking fluid. All of these are reasonable, cost-effective measures that will better protect our public lands, drinking water, wildlife and public health and safety. They should not be abandoned.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments.