A national sportsman group condemns new fracking bill

Aug 12, 2013

A bill in Congress that would give states the exclusive right to regulate hydraulic fracturing has raised the ire of a national sportsmen’s advocacy group.  Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development has released a statement supporting federal regulation.  U-S Representative for Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis is a member of the Natural Resources Committee, which sponsored House Bill 2728 against federal regulation. 

Governor Mead’s spokesman Renny MacKay says the governor is reviewing the bill.  But, in general, MacKay says he thinks Wyoming’s initiative to regulate oil and gas without requirements has gone above and beyond and reflects states’ abilities to set their own rules.  “The governor’s position is that pioneering state solutions should be rewarded,” MacKay says, “and right now we’re looking at baseline water testing.”

Wyoming would be the first state to require baseline water testing and was the first state to mandate disclosure of fracking chemicals. Several states have followed Wyoming’s lead in regulating the controversial practice.

However, companies are still allowed to keep trade secrets for some proprietary ingredients. This concerns the national sportsman group that says federal regulations would better safeguard fragile fish and wildlife habitat and create a minimum standard for all states. 

Richard Garrett is the Energy Policy Analyst for Wyoming Outdoor Council. He defended Wyoming’s history of proactive regulation of hydraulic fracturing.  “Wyoming is really doing a good job regulating hydraulic fracturing,” he says, “and has taken a leadership role, in fact, in that process as they have in a lot of oil and gas conservation issues.  That said, we stand in opposition to the bill.” 

Garrett says he thinks the proposed house bill is mostly just political posturing.