WEA logoThis morning, the Obama administration released its anticipated new oil and gas development restrictions that would apply to tens of thousands of wells on public lands that use fracking to develop oil and gas.  The administration’s rationale? It hates oil and gas. It claims to want to protect the country’s water supply.  Nevermind that there has never been a single instance of proven groundwater contamination from fracking, but what do we know, we’re just bloggers, not politically-motivated important government officials.

Two of the most controversial restrictions include:

  • Forcing companies to reveal trade secrets fracking fluid recipes – finally we’ll know what cocktail Hick was drinking!
  • Requiring companies to seal wastewater instead of use open pits. Waaaaaaiiiit, has President Obama been chatting with Oil and Gas Task Force Ringleader co-chair Gwen Lachelt?

Independent Petroleum Association of America and Colorado-based Western Energy Alliance slapped the feds with a lawsuit an hour after the new rules were revealed. The lawsuit, filed in a Wyoming federal district court, argued that the new rules impose a “one-size-fits-all federal mandates on top of existing well-tailored state regulations”, according to the Washington Post.  But, a read of the complaint reveals a more delicious charge – the Bureau of Land Management are engaging in a little science denying.  From the complaint:

“BLM rulemaking represents a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns and the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s final rule.”

This would be hilarious, if it wasn’t impacting so many Colorado families.  Not only are oil and gas companies (ahem, employers in Colorado) suffering because of the fluctuating oil and gas prices, but now because the Obama administration (and let’s not forget Rep. Diana Degette and Jared Polis who introduced their laundry list of irrational demands yesterday) have imposed ridiculous regulations on this industry.  In fact, Tim Wigley, president of the Western Energy Alliance, indicated that the feds may have bitten off more than they can chew:

“BLM struggles to meet its current workload of leasing, environmental analysis, permitting, monitoring, inspecting, and otherwise administering the federal onshore oil and natural gas program. Yet it is undertaking an entirely new regulatory regime that it has neither the resources nor the expertise to implement.”