API Believes One Agency Should Take Lead on Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

The American Petroleum Institute (API) stated that it was advocating for the federal government to designate a lead agency on regulations dealing with hydraulic fracturing.

According to Kyle Isakower, API’s Vice President of Regulatory and Economic Policy, a wave of possible new federal rules on shale oil and natural gas development could threaten its expansion and the increased jobs and revenue it promises to generate.

Mr. Isakower stated to reporters that there are as many as 10 departments and agencies that are weighing in on regulations aimed at hydraulic fracturing.

“To my knowledge, there’s not a precedent for 10 agencies looking at a single issue like this” he stated on the call.  Mr. Isakower went on to say, “we believe there should be a lead agency looking at hydraulic fracturing and associated issues that coordinates with other agencies on this matter.”

“The administration has been advocating more oil and natural gas development. It has also called for streamlining regulations. We believe the administration could do much to achieve both objectives by taking a critical look at what its various agencies are proposing to do on hydraulic fracturing and shale energy development.”

As previous blog posts have discussed, proposed regulations on hydraulic fracturing have emerged from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Additionally, many states have passed or have introduced legislation that would regulate hydraulic fracturing in some manner.

This article was prepared by Barclay Nicholson (bnicholson@fulbright.com or 713-651-3662) of Fulbright's Litigation and Energy Practice Group and member of the Firms' Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force.