U.S. gov't pressed by Wyoming on fracking

April 17, 2012 at 7:44 AM

WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. government said it was reviewing concerns that proposed federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands may trump state authority.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, expressed concern to the U.S. Interior Department that proposals for federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing may either duplicate or displace existing state legislation.

The governor, in a letter, called on the Bureau of Land Management to "defer to states, like Wyoming, that adequately and effectively manage hydraulic fracturing."

Mead notes that state rules in place since 2010 were based on scientific studies and public input. They're meant to protect the safety of the environment while encouraging economic growth, he said.

Federal proposals, reviewed the Platts news service in February, call on oil and gas companies to reveal the content of hydraulic fracturing fluids. Respect would be given to trade secrets.

Adam Fetcher, a spokesman for the Interior Department, told the news service it was too early to weigh in on the proposals.

"We hope that industry, the public and other stakeholders will take the time to provide their input once a draft is actually on the table for public comment," he said without providing a timeline.

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