U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe on Wednesday introduced legislation to ensure states maintain the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
The Oklahoma senator’s Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands Act was cosponsored by fellow Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, David Vitter, Jeff Sessions, John Conryn, James Risch and John Hoeven. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, will introduce companion legislation in the House.
Inhofe touted the bill in a news release Wednesday before taking the Senate floor.
“I am pleased to introduce this bill which will ensure that states have the sole authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, so that the Obama Administration will not be able to impose federal regulations to stop the development of our vast natural resources.”
Inhofe said the administration wants to eliminate hydraulic fracturing, a technique credited with revolutionizing domestic oil and natural gas development, despite the president’s “disingenuous touting of the virtues of natural gas.”
“We know this because he currently has 10 different federal agencies in the process of crafting rules or studying the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, including an EPA that is apparently determined to find fault with the practice so that they can end it.”
The proposal was introduce nearly a year after Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, offered a bill that would regulate hydraulic fracturing under the Clean Water Act.
Casey’s bill has not moved out of committee.
Inhofe on Wednesday defended hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping large amounts of pressurized water, sand and chemicals into tight rock formations to release oil and gas.
“The first use of hydraulic fracturing took place in my home state of Oklahoma in 1949, and in over 60 years there has not been one confirmed case of ground water contamination from fracked formations.”
Inhofe said his bill will stall President Obama’s “war on affordable energy.”
“It will ensure that under state regulations, Americans can take advantage of the many benefits – including hundreds of thousands of jobs and lower energy prices – that come with the development of our vast natural resources.”