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Trump administration moves to repeal fracking regulations

By Karen Graham     Jul 26, 2017 in Politics
The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has gone ahead with its proposal to rescind the 2015 final rule on hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. The proposal was published July 25 in the Federal Register.
President Barack Obama's administration formulated the rule in 2015 in an effort to update decades-old regulations because of the explosive growth of hydraulic fracturing in the U.S. oil and gas industry.
The regulations set standards in areas such as the disclosure of fracking chemicals and the integrity of well casings when oil and gas exploration was being conducted on federal and tribal lands.
Already this year, the Department of the Interior's stream protection rule for mountaintop removal mining concerns was repealed by Congress, while the agency is taking action on its own to reverse the Obama administration's halt on coal mining on federal land.
"This is another cynical move by the Trump administration that sacrifices our public lands and public safety as a favor to the oil and gas industry," said Michael Freeman, the attorney for Earthjustice who is representing environmental groups who support the safety rules in the legal action.
The Bureau of Land Management's proposal was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday and has a comment period that ends on September 25, 2017.
In the proposed rule, the BLM says it believes "it is unnecessarily duplicative of state and some tribal regulations and imposes burdensome reporting requirements and other unjustified costs on the oil and gas industry." The BLM specifically cites the added "compliance costs information requirements" in the 2015 rule, as being an added cost to the oil and gas industry.
However, BLM staff members in New Mexico say they do not perform on-site inspections because "the work is too dangerous" under existing rules, according to EcoWatch.
Earlier this month, a G20 task force released a new Climate-Related Financial Disclosure Framework. The framework will work to prepare companies across multiple sectors of industry for the increased need for transparency in their financial disclosures to investors, lenders, insurance underwriters and other stakeholders concerned about the risks associated with climate change.
It the BML's proposal to rescind the 2015 rules on fracking on federal and tribal lands goes through, it will have an impact on the energy companies, and in turn, investors and other stakeholders. Keep in mind that fracking is a very dangerous operation and spills and contamination of the environment do occur - affecting the bottom line in a company's disclosure statement.
More about Fracking, federal and tribal lands, rescind rules, Trump administration, Fossil fuels
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