Utah energy advisor says new regulations are legally and pragmatically faulty
Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert announced that his state will be joining North Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming in their lawsuit against new federal rules regarding new hydraulic fracturing regulations on federal lands. OAG360® spoke with both Gov. Herbert and his energy advisor, Cody Stewart, about the matter recently.
Stewart told Oil & Gas 360® that Utah took time to determine the validity of the rule to see if it might work before deciding to join the states challenging the new regulations from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). “After taking some time to really look over the law, we decided that it was flawed,” Stewart said.
“From a pragmatic point of view, this legislation duplicates laws that are already in place, adds unnecessary timelines and will hurt development. From a legal point of view, we think that the BLM does not have the authority to enforce these regulations.”
Earlier this month, OAG360® asked Governor Herbert about his thoughts on the lawsuit, to which he responded that states are in the best position to handle these kinds of issues. “I believe that states have done a very good job of regulating hydraulic fracturing themselves. I don’t believe we need an extra layer of oversight. I think it becomes redundant and just expensive and more costly when it comes to producing energy.”
Collectively, the four states now involved in the suit against the BLM accounted for 600.6 MMBO of production in 2014, based off information from the Energy Information Administration. North Dakota made up the majority with 396.8 MMBO of production last year. Colorado, Wyoming and Utah accounted for 86.9 MMBO, 76.1 MMBO and 40.9 MMBO of production respectively in 2014.
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