Who Controls Fracking Regulations?

North Dakota Challenges Federal Authority
North Dakota Challenges Federal Authority

North Dakota will join forces with Colorado and Wyoming to challenge regulations on fracking.

Related: New Fracking Rules for Public Lands

The Federal District Court of Wyoming cleared the way for additional challenges to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) authority to impose regulations on fracking practices.

At the center of the dispute is who has the ultimate authority to regulate fracking practices. States are claiming that an additional layer of federal regulation is unnecessary. North Dakota asserts that the BLM overstepped its authority by trying to interfere with the state’s current and comprehensive rules and standards. They claim these additional rules aren’t necessary because the EPA has already granted authority to the states to monitor and protect underground water sources.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman responded to the ruling. “To be clear, this case is not about whether hydraulic fracturing should or should not be regulated,” she said. “It should be regulated, and Colorado is doing so. However, the debate over hydraulic fracturing is complicated enough without the federal government encroaching on states’ rights.