Hoeven bill will seek state oversight of frackingWILLISTON, N.D. – Sen. John Hoeven announced today he will introduce this week new hydraulic fracturing legislation called the Empower States Act.
By: Amy Dalrymple, The Jamestown Sun
WILLISTON, N.D. – Sen. John Hoeven announced today he will introduce this week new hydraulic fracturing legislation called the Empower States Act.
Hoeven, who is hosting Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on a tour of the Bakken this week, says states, not the federal government, should be the primary regulators of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
“Hydraulic fracturing, depending on where you do it, is very different,” Hoeven said. “Therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach from the federal government doesn’t work.”
Murkowski, the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, will co-sponsor the proposal to keep the regulatory control at the state level.
“It’s truly in their (states’) best interest to make sure that the processes are safe,” Murkowski said.
The Empower States Act gives states the first ability to respond to any violation because states have a stake in protecting their environment, Hoeven said. The legislation also requires 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 must develop a Statement of Energy and Economic Impact that identifies adverse effects on energy 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 an existing alternative and that the new regulation is needed to prevent immediate harm to health or the environment.