On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted all motions for preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the BLM rule governing hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. The Independent Petroleum Association in America and Western Energy Alliance, the states of Wyoming and Colorado, the state of North Dakota, and the Ute Indian Tribe separately filed these motions.
In the light of the Petitioners’ arguments in support of their motions, the District Court opined that the BLM did not receive authority from Congress to regulate hydraulic fracturing. The Court found that Congress “has directly spoken to the issue,” and therefore, the BLM invaded Congressional authority in this matter. Furthermore, the District Court expressed objections as to the evidentiary support for the rule while observing that “[t]he BLM has neither substantiated the existence of a problem this rule is meant to address, identified a gap in existing regulations the final rule will fill, nor described how the final rule will achieve its stated objectives. Rather, the Fracking Rule seems a remedy in search of harm.”
The District Court concluded that all petitioners are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction which undermines the proper balance between federal and states regulatory interests in the regulation of hydraulic fracturing.
Further information on the cases is available at docket no. 2:15-CV-043-SWS and docket no. 2:15-CV-041-SWS.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow