Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

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Inhofe Introduces Legislation to Ensure States, Not Federal Government, Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing

Link to FRESH Act

Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced the Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands Act (FRESH Act) today along with co-sponsors Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, David Vitter (R-LA), Jeff Sessions (AL), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Risch (R-ID), and John Hoeven (R-ND).  This bill will ensure that states - not the federal government - have the sole authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing within their state boundaries.  Companion legislation will be introduced by Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) in the House.

Senator Inhofe: "Today, I am pleased to introduce this bill which will ensure that states have the sole authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, so that the Obama Administration will not be able to impose federal regulations to stop the development of our vast natural resources.  Despite his disingenuous touting of the virtues of natural gas, eliminating hydraulic fracturing is exactly what President Obama wants to do.  We know this because he currently has 10 different federal agencies in the process of crafting rules or studying the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, including an EPA that is apparently determined to find fault with the practice so that they can end it.  The first use of hydraulic fracturing took place in my home state of Oklahoma in 1949, and in over 60 years there has not been one confirmed case of ground water contamination from fracked formations.  This bill will stop President Obama from achieving a vital part of his war on affordable energy; it will ensure that under state regulations, Americans can take advantage of the many benefits - including hundreds of thousands of jobs and lower energy prices - that come with the development of our vast natural resources."

Senator Murkowski: "We've seen a major increase in natural gas production on state-owned lands over the past decade and I believe that is because states have been successful in providing appropriate environmental regulations without stopping development. There's no reason to impose a federal, one-size-fits-all regulatory approach when the states have a proven track record. The legislation we're introducing today simply reaffirms that states have a right to determine what level of regulation is appropriate for them."

Senator Vitter: "It's not a coincidence that domestic energy development is increasingly moving off federal lands, and expanding on privately held lands. This administration has put up barrier after barrier to our energy and economic freedom, not to mention using tabloid science on hydraulic fracking. The states are not only capable, but the most appropriate."

The FRESH Act:

 - Makes clear, that States have the sole authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on any land within their borders. States better understand their unique geologies and interests. They are better equipped to regulating hydraulic fracturing at the ground level.

 - Requires hydraulic fracturing on federal lands to comply with the state laws of which the federal lands are located. Activities related to hydraulic fracturing are already regulated at the Federal level under a variety of environmental statutes, including portions of the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Clean Air Act.