Hoeven bill will seek state oversight of frackingWILLISTON – Sen. John Hoeven announced today he will introduce this week new hydraulic fracturing legislation called the EmpowerStates Act.
By: Amy Dalrymple, The Dickinson Press
WILLISTON – Sen. John Hoeven announced today he will introduce this week new hydraulic fracturing legislation called the EmpowerStates Act.
Hoeven, who is hosting Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on atour of the Bakken this week, says states, not the federal government, shouldbe the primary regulators of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
“Hydraulic fracturing, depending on where you do it, is verydifferent,” Hoeven said. “Therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach from thefederal government doesn’t work.”
Murkowski, the ranking member on the Senate Committee onEnergy & Natural Resources, will co-sponsor the proposal to keep theregulatory control at the state level.
“It’s truly in their (states’) best interest to make surethat the processes are safe,” Murkowski said.
The Empower States Act gives states the first ability torespond to any violation because states have a stake in protecting theirenvironment, Hoeven said. The legislation also requires a federal agency toconsult with state, tribe and local state agencies before drafting newregulations relating to oil and gas development.
A federal agency drafting new regulations must develop aStatement of Energy and Economic Impact that identifies adverse effects onenergy supply, reliability, price and the potential for job and revenue losses.In addition, the agency must show that a state or tribe does not have anexisting alternative and that the new regulation is needed to prevent immediateharm to health or the environment.