Co-authors:  Andrew Doggett, Justin Scott

On November 20, 2013, the House passed Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728), giving state law primacy over federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. The key provisions of the bill are summarized in the table below.  Prior to the vote in the House, the White House issued a statement threatening to veto any legislation that would require the federal government to defer to the states on this issue.

H.R. 2728:  Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act

Passed in the House of Representatives November 20, 2013

Amending The Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. § 181 et seq.)
State Authority The Department of the Interior may not enforce federal   regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing related to oil, gas, or geothermal   production activities in any state that has its own regulations, guidance, or   permitting requirements for such processes.
Federal Lands Federal authorities must defer to a state’s regulations,   guidance, or permitting requirements for hydraulic fracturing related   activities on federal lands located within that state.
Tribal Lands Absent express consent from the appropriate tribal   authorities, the Department of the Interior may not enforce federal   regulations, guidance, or permitting requirements concerning the underground   injection of fluids related to hydraulic fracturing activities on tribal lands.
Definition Hydraulic fracturing defined as “the process by which   fracturing fluids (or a fracturing fluid system) are pumped into an   underground geological formation at a calculated, predetermined rate and   pressure to generate fractures or cracks in the target formation and thereby   increase the permeability of the rock near the wellbore and improve   production of natural gas or oil.”
Studies The Secretary of the Department of the Interior must   review annually all state hydraulic fracturing activities and provide   Congress with a report.  The Government   Accountability Office must conduct a study regarding the economic benefits of   hydraulic fracturing.
Transparency Each state must submit a copy of its regulations   concerning hydraulic fracturing on federal lands to the Bureau of Land   Management.  States must also submit a   copy of any regulation that requires the disclosure of chemicals used in   hydraulic fracturing projects on Federal lands.  The Bureau must make all submitted   regulations available to the public.

 

Shale Blog Table_ HR 2728