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Bishop Statement on Federal Court Decision to Uphold Repeal of Obama-Era Fracking Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 30, 2020 -

Today, Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah) released the following statement on the decision by the U.S. District Court of Northern California to uphold the Trump Administration's repeal of a 2015 Obama-era rule concerning hydraulic fracturing on public lands. 

“Duplicative, irrational regulations such as the 2015 rule threatened the expansion of American energy innovation and our path to becoming a global leader in energy production. This decision reaffirms that the Obama Administration overreached with the 2015 rule and that the Trump Administration took proper action with its repeal. 

“Responsible oil and natural gas development on our public lands is carried out under the greatest environmental standards in the world and provides cheap, exportable energy for all Americans and our allies. The current crisis shows us how the decisions of foreign nations can quickly devastate the global energy market. It is more apparent than ever that the U.S. has thoughtful regulations to balance environmental protection with meeting America’s energy needs. This decision is another positive step forward as the Trump Administration works to protect and advance these priorities.”


On March 27, 2020, Judge Haywood Gilliam rejected challenges brought by the state of California, environmental groups, and Committee Democrats who argued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Department of the Interior (DOI) should impose Federal hydraulic fracturing regulations on operators, duplicating State level regulations for the practice. The court determined BLM provided reasonable explanations for its decision-making process and accounted for endangered species protections. 

In 2016, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the U.S. District Court Wyoming struck down the 2015 fracking rule concluding that a 2005 law explicitly blocked BLM's authority to regulate most types of fracking. The Obama administration appealed Skavdahl's ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, but that court never ruled on the matter after the Trump administration revealed its plan to repeal the fracking rule.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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