Why we need a strong BLM fracking rule that covers every state with federal oil and gas leases

North Dakota's senators have sent a letter to the BLM asking that their state be exempted from any new federal fracking rules. They said that "North Dakota's successful record in managing its energy development is becoming a model for the nation."

Yet last week it was reported that North Dakota had 23 well blowouts in the past 12 months. That's not a model that should be replicated anywhere else. After two big blowouts last year, North Dakota oil companies promised to develop a list of best practices to improve well safety that might be the basis for new regulations. The industry has not yet concluded this work, even though the oil and gas industry has already published dozens of best practices for well safety.

There doesn't seem to be any strong evidence that North Dakota, or other states, have rules and enforcement strong enough to ensure protection of drinking water sources and other important natural resources. This is why we need a strong BLM fracking rule in place for federal oil and gas leases in every state where they exist. NRDC blogs have the details on what is needed to improve the BLM's proposal.

About the Authors

Amy Mall

Senior Policy Analyst, Land & Wildlife program

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