WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, praised the decision Judge Scott Skavdahl of the U.S. District Court of Wyoming to strike down the Bureau of Land Management’s final fracking rule from March 2015 to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands.
“Time and again the courts are blocking action by the Obama administration that flagrantly goes against the will of Congress and the American people” Inhofe said. "In 2005, Congress affirmed States as the appropriate regulators of hydraulic fracturing except in limited circumstances, and the Department of Interior is not vested with that authority. The administration ignored the law and attempted to reverse this through regulation. I applaud the federal judge who stood by the law and struck down this unnecessary, politically-motivated power grab. States have proven that they are in the best position to regulate hydraulic fracking on land within their borders as they understand their unique geologies as well as the economic impacts that such action will have to their communities."
In the ruling, Judge Skavdahl said, “Congress has not delegated to the Department of Interior the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. The BLM’s effort to do so through the Fracking Rule is in excess of its statutory authority and contrary to law.”
On January 13, 2016, the EPW Committee released a staff report highlighting the hydraulic fracturing oversight work that had been conducted by Inhofe, Sen. David Vitter, and EPW Republicans dating back to 2009.
On March 20, 2015, Inhofe introduced S. 828, The Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands (FRESH) Act, which would recognize hydraulic fracturing as a commercial practice and keep regulations under state management.
On February 12, 2015, Inhofe introduced S. 490, the Federal Land Freedom Act of 2015, which would give states the authority to establish programs to lease, permit, and regulate the development of all forms of energy resources, including renewables, on federal lands within their border.