AG blasts proposed BLM 'fracking' regulations

Aug 30, 2013

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is formally protesting new proposed ‘fracking’ regulations from the Bureau of Land Management. He signed a letter last Friday to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell along with four other Attorneys General—from Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma and West Virginia expressing strong objections to these new hydraulic fracturing rules being considered by the BLM.

In a press release, Fox says the states signing the letter already have well-trained staff who regulate fracking. He called it another example of the federal government trying to complicate regulations the states already handles well.

Gov. Steve Bullock has also expressed his opposition to the proposal.

The new rules would force the disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking fluids on federal and tribal lands. They would also set up a framework for regulating the wells and wastewater from these drilling operations.

But the regional environmental organization, the Northern Plains Resource Council thinks the proposed rules do not go far enough. Deborah Hanson is a member of Northern Plains’ oil and gas task force. She believes Attorney General Fox should be giving tighter regulations more thought.

“As our Attorney General, I always thought it was his job to uphold our state constitution which includes a right to a clean and healthful environment,” she said, noting healthy water supplies are a very important piece of that.

Oil and Gas industry representatives have said the proposed rules would be an expensive burden on business without enough clearly demonstrated benefit.

The rules being considered by the BLM are a scaled-back version of a proposal pitched last year.