Tenth Circuit Court dismisses environmental group appeal of BLM’s fracking rule

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeals of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule. BLM and environmental groups had been attempting to overturn the Wyoming District Court ruling that nullified the rule. The Tenth Circuit noted that President Trump, Secretary Zinke, and BLM have all made it clear that BLM intends to rescind the hydraulic fracturing rule in its entirety, and therefore addressing the merits of the appeals at this time would be a waste of judicial resources.

Since 2015, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) along with Western Energy Alliance have been leading the charge against federal regulation of fracking. In June 2016, the federal District Court of Wyoming set aside the regulations after ruling that BLM lacked statutory authority to regulate fracking. In dismissing the appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court recognizes that BLM has already started the rulemaking process necessary to formally revoke the rule.

“We’re pleased that after today, IPAA and Western Energy Alliance are even closer to finally putting BLM’s ill-conceived fracking rule to bed,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. “As with the royalty valuation rule that was recently completely rescinded, there are some technicalities to work through in the short term, but just as the court recognizes that it is not worthwhile to expend judicial resources on a rule that is being overturned, it is clear that implementing the rule in the short term is likewise a waste of industry and government resources.”

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