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Trump Administration Seeking To Rescind Obama-Era Fracking Rule

by Countable | 7.26.17

What’s the story?

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking to undo the rules and regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands implemented by Obama in 2015. The proposed removals were published in the federal register on Tuesday, and now a public comment period begins that will conclude on September 25, 2017.

Why does it matter?

The Hill reported Monday that the BLM was planning to publish in the federal register their intent to completely repeal the 2015 rule regarding hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. The rule was intended to prevent water pollution involved in the high water volume process used to extract natural gas, more commonly known as fracking. As summarized by ThinkProgress:

"the 2015 final rule was intended to: ensure that wells are properly constructed to protect water supplies, make certain that the fluids that flow back to the surface as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations are managed in an environmentally responsible way, and provide public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids."

The rule also provided "opportunities for the BLM to coordinate standards and processes with individual states and tribes to reduce administrative costs and to improve efficiency."

In a March executive order President Trump instructed the Interior Secretary to take the necessary steps to rescind the rule in pursuit of "energy independence." In their Tuesday addition to the federal register the BLM states:

"The BLM is now proposing to rescind the 2015 final rule because we believe it is unnecessarily duplicative of state and some tribal regulations and imposes burdensome reporting requirements and other unjustified costs on the oil and gas industry. This proposed rule would return the affected sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to the language that existed immediately before the published effective date of the 2015 final rule.”

The 2015 rule never actually went into effect. It was repeatedly challenged by states and the oil and gas industry. After being on hold for a year, in the spring of 2016 a District Court set the rule aside, stating that the BLM did not have the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing operations. The Interior Department, then still under President Obama, appealed the decision, but Obama left office before the case could wind its way through the courts.

As outlined in the federal register, comments about the new rule can be submitted online, via mail, or in-person delivery. To be accepted, all comments must be specific, pertinent, and preferably detailed:

"Please make your comments on the proposed rule as specific as possible, confine them to issues pertinent to the proposed rule, and explain the reason for any changes you recommend. Where possible, your comments should reference the specific section or paragraph of the proposed rule that you are addressing.”

What can you do?

Do you support the complete and final repeal of the 2015 rule? Do you think state and tribal governments have the proper regulations and authority to prevent water pollution from hydraulic fracturing?

The 61-day comment period, again, ends on September 25, 2017 if you want to comment directly to the Interior Department.

You can also use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Simon Fraser University via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(103)
  • Keith
    07/26/2017
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    We've seen in North Carolina what fracking can do to our beautiful land. If we rescind these laws, we will have to change the lyrics to many of our beloved patriotic songs, it's that straightforward. There will be no purple mountains majesty. There will be no land of the pilgrims pride. All that will be is a wasteland, like that of the movie Wall-E. Do not allow this to happen. Healthcare is a major issue right now. Our environment directly contributes to our health. It effects the food we eat, the food that our animals eat. Think of the saying "you are what you eat." That also applies to what you eat as well. So if the cow for the beef in your burger ate toxins and contaminants from fracking, you too will eat toxins and contaminants from fracking. And no amount of GMOs will change that.

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  • Kodiwodi
    07/26/2017
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    Let me think about this. No. No,no, no. NO. Nope. Nah. Neyt. Nada. No we don't want fracking or drilling on Federal or Tribal lands. I don't want it on State or Public lands either. I want us to be intelligent and move to renewable energy not fossil fuels of any kind. So can I make this clearer? No. NO WAY!

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  • Clay
    07/26/2017
    ···

    Do not allow fracking on federal and tribal land. Keep our land and waters safe, from these activities. Do not rescind these regulations. Thank you.

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  • Jennifer
    07/26/2017
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    This presidency is hell bent on reversing anything that has obama's name attached regardless. We are seeing one after the other example. Reversal on fracking as much as I am concerned about the long term environmental effects would place coal and the oil companies back in control of energy. Bad for our long term progress.

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  • mikesindahouse
    07/27/2017
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    Wow. Is there nothing the GOP won't do to make a buck at the expense of the health and welfare of the American people? First take away our healthcare and then poison our water and food supply by allowing fracking on public lands. You guys are treasonous at best and terrorists at worst. If you don't change course now I expect you to be regarded as such in election cycles for decades to come. The only (democratic) way to prevent losing your grip on power is to listen to your constituents, the majority of which do not want the ACA repealed or the EPA dismantled. Remember: Your #1 job is to listen to and protect the American people.

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  • Mj
    07/26/2017
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    Changing the fracking laws and regulations is dangerous and stupid. Fracking destroyed the earth and poisons water and soil. Do any of you think about what a despoil you are leaving for your families ?

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  • Vanessa
    07/26/2017
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    Fracking is America's Achilles heel... I don't want my grand children drinking water that you can light with a match....We can't trust this administration.

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  • Maribel
    07/27/2017
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    Stop this insanity. This administration has no understanding of consequences. Be the adult and vote no fracking.

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  • Devan
    07/27/2017
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    ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES ARE THE FUTURE. BY FRACKING SACRED LAND, AND LAND IN GENERAL, WILL ONLY FURTHER DESTROY OUR ENVIRONMENT. I UNDERSTAND ENERGY IS IMPORTANT, BUT WE HUMANS CANNOT LIVE AT ALL IF PLANET EARTH IS NOT HEALTHY. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THE HEALTH OF THE UNITED STATES' CITIZENS AND THE HEALTH OF THIS PLANET THAT WE CALL HOME.

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  • Stallion
    07/27/2017
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    I am tired of Trumps obsession with anything that was initiated by Obama. He will do a lot of damage to the environment and a democrat will have to come in and clean up his mess. He is not looking out for the majority of Americans

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  • Rebecca
    07/27/2017
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    Fracking is dangerous to the earth, to all of us on the planet, and to the next generations. We need renewable energy, not big oil damaging the earth to line their pockets.

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  • Brian
    07/26/2017
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    The worthless EPA director was here in Oklahoma selling the Republican load of crap that fracking does not cause earthquakes and other environmental issues but sine fracking has been going on Oklahoma we had multiple 5.0 or larger earthquakes

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  • Lelia
    07/27/2017
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    We are running out of time to stop the abuse of this planet and get things right before we assure the extinction of humans.

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  • Bruno
    07/26/2017
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    It's not about the people anymore when you start going backwards....all about the money.....and if you have it...then you have a dog in the hunt.

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  • Seth
    07/26/2017
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    We the people not we the oil companies.

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  • Christopher
    07/27/2017
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    Another knife in the back of the safety to the country. Do we need another seismic event in DC to wake everyone up to the fact that this process is harming our geography and stability? If Oklahoma wants to join Florida as the next great 'sinkhole' consider allowing everyone to leave the state first.

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  • Mhammy13
    07/26/2017
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    Fracking, whether for oil or gas, is one of the most insidiously destructive processes ever conceived by man. Fracking pollutes the earth, all bodies of water near by, and devastates our quality of life. No one benefits except the greedy, thieving, oil/gas companies. These corporations rape our lands for profits that they do not share, while paying zero dollars in taxes thereby disabling our ability to perform even the most basic human services like the right to quality health care.

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  • Emric
    07/27/2017
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    The 2015 regulations protect both public health and environment. It should not be to much to ask or expect. The fracking industry will do what it has done so far which is fight any regulation to avoid any acciuntability. Local tribes or governments might not have the resources or the moral backbone to fight them off. Let us not add to the many existing health threats and crises of this country by making it any easier for said industry to profit at the expense if the environment and people's health.

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  • Kimberly
    07/27/2017
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    STOP THE INSANITY! Trump must be impeached now. This psychopath can not continue to destroy America.

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  • SPK-MYS
    07/27/2017
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    Fracking is a method of producing energy that has unknown consequences. I'm glad I live in a place that has no economical reason to be fracked. Pumping chemicals into the ground and finding out later that our drinking water is poisoned is outrageous. Please keep the restrictions on fracking; if anything, make them even stronger!!!

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