Fracking on federal lands needs federal policy

May 8, 2013




The following statement from Dave Alberswerth, senior policy adviser for The Wilderness Society regards a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee on an upcoming rule governing hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.

“The upcoming rule on hydrofracking for the Bureau of Land Management is incredibly important, as it will govern the practices of oil and gas drillers across federal lands. While techniques like fracking have been very successful in reaching previously irrecoverable oil and gas, there are many issues associated with it that the federal government must address for drilling and fracking on federal lands.

“While it wasn’t perfect, the proposed rule that the BLM had originally released was a good beginning point for developing a framework for how to manage fracking on publicly owned, multi-use lands. Provisions for requiring the public disclosure of the large volumes of toxic chemicals used in the fracking process, guaranteeing high standards for well casings, and safe management and disposal of flowback fluids are needed to ensure public safety is a high priority throughout all stages of fracking a well.

“These are lands owned by all Americans, and they should have a unified set of effective rules governing them.