Heartland Institute Experts React to Court Striking Down Federal Fracking Rules
A federal court on Tuesday struck down Obama administration regulations aimed at restricting hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas on federal lands. The U.S. District Court judge, Scott Skavdahl, ruled Congress never granted the U.S. Bureau of Land Management authority to regulate fracking on federal lands.
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“At last, some sense in the court system. We have been hydraulically fracturing wells since 1947, with more than a million performed to date. Not a single proven case of groundwater pollution has occurred as a result, and it likely never will because of the great drilling depths required, which go well below the shallow aquifers where drinking water supplies come from.
“As a result of poorly illustrated well diagrams, folks think wells make simple right angle turns, but instead they generally only turn three degrees every 100 vertical feet due to the relatively inflexible steel piping that’s used. So, to turn 90 degrees requires about 3,000 vertical feet, which is well below where drinking water is taken from.
“Hydraulic fracturing poses no threat to our water supply or our surface land from seismic shocks, and it is about time government bureaucrats realize this.”
“While I applaud the ruling and am thankful a federal court decided to uphold Congress’ standing as the solely authorized entity with the power to write laws in the United States, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Obama administration largely ignores the ruling and hampers existing fracking projects on public lands and stalls future ones through executive orders and rules.
“The evidence shows this administration is an avowed enemy of the use of fossil fuels, despite their clear benefits in the form of economic growth, job creation, and energy security.”
“President Barack Obama’s administration, which appears to comprehend no limits to its scope and authority, just got its knuckles rapped again by a federal judge, and deservedly so. In an instance of poetic justice, this time the person administering the knuckle-rapping was a judge Obama himself appointed.
“Judge Scott Skavdahl was only pointing out the obvious when he ruled Congress never intended to grant federal authority over fracking to any other federal agency when it blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from doing so. Each state is free to regulate fracking as it sees fit. This has been the case for more 60 years. Nothing has changed, no matter how much the Obama administration would have liked it to.”
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