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API: Duplicative BLM rule could slow energy renaissance

Zachary Cikanek | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2015 – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule imposes new costs and delays on energy development without improving on existing state and federal regulations, according to API.

"Despite the renaissance on state and private lands, energy production on federal lands has fallen, and this rule is just one more barrier to growth,” said API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito. “Under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have opened up a new era of energy security, job growth, and economic strength. Increased production and use of natural gas has helped cut U.S. carbon emissions to a nearly 20-year low, and this decision only stands in the way of further progress, hampering natural gas development on federal lands onshore, where it has already declined an amazing 21.6 percent since 2009.

“A duplicative layer of new federal regulation is unnecessary, and we urge the BLM to work carefully with the states to minimize costs and delays created by the new rule to ensure that public lands can still be a source of job creation and economic growth.”

Milito also credited the BLM for following the lead of states that have already adopted as their preferred tool for improving the availability of information on fracturing fluids.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is an advanced engineering technology at the heart of America’s emergence as an energy superpower. Hydraulic fracturing supports more than 2 million U.S. jobs, has increased supplies of oil and natural gas, and has helped to put downward pressure on energy prices. It also has strengthened America’s geopolitical leverage against hostile regimes around the world, like Iran. In use since 1949, hydraulic fracturing has been applied safely in over one million operations. In conjunction with strong state regulations, the industry utilizes world-class standards and best practices to ensure groundwater and the environment remain protected.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.
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