By Tony Flesor, LAW WEEK COLORADO
On March 20, the Bureau of Land Management submitted its final rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, and within a week, it began attracting lawsuits.
Last week, a lawsuit filed by the State of Wyoming was joined by North Dakota while oil and gas industry groups filed their own lawsuits against the BLM.
The rule proposal comes at the end of a contentious comment period that is itself being called into question. According to lawsuits by North Dakota, represented by Holland & Hart, and the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance, represented by BakerHostetler, the rules infringe on power already given to the states and, if passed, would cost oil and gas operators a significant amount of money with little practical effect.
The rules were made with the intention of ensuring the safety of hydraulically fractured wells and water affected by them and to provide the public with information about fracking fluid ingredients.