WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement in response to two new proposals issued today by the Obama administration impacting American oil and gas production. The Bureau of Land Management finalized a new rule adding requirements for production operations on public and Indian lands, and the EPA released a draft for its underground injection control program for hydraulically fractured wells that use diesel fuels.
“The administration continues to dispense more and more red tape at the expense of our economy and energy security. New production techniques have led to an energy renaissance in this country, creating jobs, generating government revenues, and helping to advance our nation’s energy security. Instead of allowing this industry flourish and states to use their experience and expertise to oversee the process, he continues to administer regulations and restrictions that could impair job growth and slow energy production.
“The president likes to say that oil and gas production has escalated under his watch, but the truth is, our energy sector is thriving in spite of the president’s actions, certainty not because of them. Almost 96 percent of our nation’s increase in oil production has occurred on non-federal lands since 2007. Oil production on federal lands decreased by an average of 275,000 barrels per day in 2011. Energy production has shifted to state and private lands in large part because the federal government has little to no involvement. More red tape on federal lands is the wrong direction for federal land policy, and will only drive investment further away.
“EPA’s proposed guidance on diesel fuels represents a paradigm shift that requires careful review and analysis. Hydraulic fracturing has been safely used to extract oil and gas for over 60 years under state regulation. In this case, EPA is inserting itself into that long-standing relationship by broadly interpreting the definition of diesel, so that companies who safely fracture wells could face needless regulatory burdens, and states could have their working programs complicated. EPA seems intent on involving itself in fracking regulation whenever and wherever it can. EPA should not compete with the state regulators, it should learn from them and respect their decades of prior experience in this field. As the debate on this rule unfolds, EPA has an obligation to be transparent and forthright.”