Senator Inhofe Introduces Fracking Measure

On Wednesday, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and several colleagues introduced an as yet unnumbered bill designed to place regulation of hydraulic fracturing firmly in the hands of the states. The measure, Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands (FRESH) Act, authorizes states to “…promulgate or enforce any regulation, guidance, or permit requirement regarding the underground injection of fluids or propping agents pursuant to the hydraulic fracturing process, or any component of that process, relating to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities on or under any land within the boundaries of the State.”

Although the bill cites numerous Federal statutes, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act, that have some control over aspects of or related to hydraulic fracturing, it does not identify any particular program or department in which the state regulatory authority should reside. It does, however, give states the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on Federal lands. A companion measure is expected to be introduced soon in the House.