Oil and Gas Rules Hearing Continues in Casper
A petroleum industry representative Tuesday dodged questions from a federal government attorney about whether new rules about hydraulic fracking would cause companies more difficulty in drilling for oil.
U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl heard this and other testimony during an all-day hearing for a request by Wyoming, three other states, and industry representatives for a preliminary injunction to block new bureau of land management rules from going into effect on Wednesday.
Among those testifying was Kathleen Sgamma of the Denver-based Western Energy Alliance.
She said the new regulations would put undue burdens on drilling companies.
But Stephen Terrell of the U.S. Department of Justice responded that documents from her own organization stated Wyoming’s rules about fracking were stricter than federal rules and asked why compliance with the new BLM rules would be a greater burden.
Sgamma said that the companies belonging to the Western Energy Alliance comply with state regulations and didn't answer Terrell's questions.
Terrell said documents from the Sgamma's alliance also objected to the overreach of federal regulations but not stricter state regulations.
Terrell added that information used by the Western Energy Alliance shows that the time to approve a permit has been reduced by more than 100 days in recent years, and that the new BLM rules would add only 12 hours to the process.