Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Obama Fracking Rule Struck Down by Federal Judge

Energy

A federal judge struck down an Interior Department rule on fracking on public lands, ruling that the agency lacked authority to issue the regulations. The rule would impose tougher restrictions on gas extraction operations on public lands.

Pennsylvania fracking site. Photo credit: EcoFlight

Almost 90 percent of fracking in the U.S. is done on private and state land, so the regulations would impact a limited number of operations.

Environmental groups and administration officials were disappointed with the ruling, while the oil and gas industry and Republicans claimed a victory. The administration is expected to appeal.

Food & Water Watch's executive director Wenonah Hauter responding to the ruling, saying:

“We have Dick Cheney and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to thank for this ruling that federal agencies cannot implement regulations to protect us from fracking. According to the ruling, the 2005 Energy Policy Act expressly removed federal agency authority to regulate fracking. This ruling indicates more starkly than ever the urgent need for Congress to undo the harmful policies enacted under that legislation and provide our agencies the power to what they were created to do—protect our resources, our lands and our communities from harm.

“Furthermore, the fact is, there are no regulations that can adequately protect our lands and communities from fracking—the practice must simply be banned. Legislation already introduced in Congress, known as the Protect Our Public Lands Act, would ban fracking on all of our nation’s treasured public lands. The bill has dozens of sponsors, and now is the time for legislators to pass this bill and put it on the President’s desk.”

For a deeper dive: AP, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Think Progress, Financial Times, Bloomberg

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Koch Brothers Continue to Fund Climate Change Denial Machine, Spend $21M to Defend Exxon

How Radioactive Fracking Waste Wound Up Near Homes and Schools

Methane Emissions From Onshore Oil and Gas Equivalent to 14 Coal Plants Powered for One Year

Help Put an End to Coal Mining on Public Lands

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Heavy industry on the lower Mississippi helps to create dead zones. AJ Wallace on Unsplash.

Cutting out coal-burning and other sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy industry, electricity production and traffic will reduce the size of the world's dead zones along coasts where all fish life is vanishing because of a lack of oxygen.

Read More Show Less

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has restricted the ability to gather in peaceful assembly, a Canadian company has moved forward with construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A gas flare from the Shell Chemical LP petroleum refinery illuminates the sky on August 21, 2019 in Norco, Louisiana. Drew Angerer / Getty Images.

Methane levels in the atmosphere experienced a dramatic rise in 2019, preliminary data released Sunday shows.

Read More Show Less
A retired West Virginia miner suffering from black lung visits a doctor for tests. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

In some states like West Virginia, coal mines have been classified as essential services and are staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the close quarters miners work in and the known risks to respiratory health put miners in harm's way during the spread of the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Solar panel installations and a wind turbine at the Phu Lac wind farm in southern Vietnam's Binh Thuan province on April 23, 2019. MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP via Getty Images

Renewable energy made up almost three quarters of all new energy capacity added in 2019, data released Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows.

Read More Show Less