A federal judge in Wyoming has issued a final ruling to refute the executive branch’s ban of hydraulic fracturing on public land. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl issued the final ruling on June 21, 2016, upholding a preliminary injunction he had put in place last September. Skavdahl said the ban was ill conceived.

“Congress‘ inability or unwillingness to pass a law desired by the executive branch does not default authority to the executive branch to act independently, regardless of whether hydraulic fracturing is good or bad for the environment or the citizens of the United States,” wrote Judge Skavdahl, whom President Obama appointed to the bench in 2011.

The no-frac rule was initially put in place by the Bureau of Land Management in March 2015. It attempted to prevent any fracing activity from taking place on federal land. Federal land is home to 11% of the natural gas production and 5% of the oil according to government data.

The States of Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, Utah and the UTE Indian Tribe sued the U.S. Department of the Interior, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and BLM Director Neil Kornze over the frac ban on public land.

The judge’s initial ruling to block the BLM’s restriction on oil and gas development on public land came in September 2015 as a temporary injunction from Judge Skavdahl until he could consider the implications and issue a final ruling. The judge’s final ruling came yesterday.

The law was struck down based upon the grounds that the U.S. Department of the Interior, under which the BLM resides, lacked the authority to issue the ruling. The judge dismissed particularly the claim by the Interior Department and its Bureau of Land Management that it had inherent broad regulatory authority to pursue the public good on federal and Indian lands, the only place the regulations would have applied.

“Congress has not delegated to the Department of the Interior the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing,” the judge wrote in a 27-page ruling. “The BLM’s efforts to do so through the fracking rule is in excess of its statutory authority and contrary to law.”

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead championed the ruling. “The Court got it right; this is of particular importance not only to Wyoming but the country. I have and I will continue to aggressively assert Wyoming’s authority when threatened by federal overreach,” Gov. Mead said in a press release today.

The ruling by Judge Skavdahl is the most recent negation of rules proposed by President Obama as part of his environmental agenda, which he has pursued by issuing regulations through the agencies under the executive branch, bypassing Congress.

“Only Congress can write laws,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), said Wednesday in response to the fracing ruling. “Agencies acting without authority from Congress is simply illegal.”

Last October, a federal appeals court blocked an Environmental Protection Agency rule that seeks to put more bodies of water and wetlands under federal protection. A final decision on that matter remains pending.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s effort to slow climate change by reducing power-plant emissions by one-third by 2030. The court said legal challenges to the rules had to be resolved first.

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