Hoeven Wants To Keep Fracking A States Issue
Senator John Hoeven, while touring North Dakota’s oil patch with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, proposed legislation called the Empower States Act (similarly named to his Empower ND policies from when he was governor) which, among other things, would help protect the ability of the states to regulate hydraulic fracturing themselves.
The Empower States Act would give states the first ability to respond to any violation because states have a stake in protecting their environment, Hoeven said. The legislation also would require a federal agency to consult with state, tribe and local state agencies before drafting new regulations relating to oil and gas development.
A federal agency drafting new regulations would have to develop what Hoeven called a “Statement of Energy and Economic Impact” that would identify adverse effects on energy supply, reliability, price and the potential for job and revenue losses. In addition, the agency would have to show that a state or tribe does not have an existing alternative and that the new regulation is needed to prevent immediate harm to health or the environment.
The bill would strengthen the appeals process of states and tribes by requiring federal courts to “thoroughly review the decision and not just rely on the EPA’s findings,” according to a news release from Hoeven’s office.
This is an important issue for North Dakota given that fracking is a necessity for oil production in the state’s Bakken formation. And if you don’t think the federal government has been sandbagging North Dakota energy production, remember that the Three Affiliated Tribes (Fort Berthold reservation) have been fighting with the BLM over fracking regulation on their land, questioning the federal government’s authority to even exercise that sort of authority.
“We know what’s best, how to protect our environment,” tribal chairman Tex Hall told Forum Communications. Indeed, and so does North Dakota’s state government.Tags: fracking, John Hoeven, North Dakota News, tex hall, three affiliated tribes