An Interior Department spokesman said Monday that the department would review a letter from Wyoming Governor Matt Mead critical of the federal government’s plans to formulate rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands.
“We will review the letter and respond directly to the governor,” Interior Department Press Secretary Adam Fetcher said.
On Thursday, Mead wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, calling for the Bureau of Land Management, the Interior agency that is expected to formulate the federal rules, to refrain from creating regulations for fracking operations on federal lands that would duplicate or supplant the state’s existing fracking rules.
Mead requested that the BLM “defer to states, like Wyoming, that adequately and effectively manage hydraulic fracturing.”
BLM and Interior officials began talking last fall about plans to create new rules to regulate fracking operations on federal lands, chiefly in the Rocky Mountain West. Salazar testified about these efforts before the US House Natural Resources Committee on November 16.
A draft copy of the proposed rules, which Platts obtained in February, would require operators to disclose the chemical contents used in fracking fluids, while providing protection for trade secret data.
The Interior Department has not announced when it would officially release the draft rules for public comment, Fetcher said.
“We hope that industry, the public and other stakeholders will take the time to provide their input once a draft is actually on the table for public comment,” he added.