HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Attorney General Tim Fox said Thursday that Montana is joining Alabama, Alaska and Oklahoma in protesting Bureau of Land Management plans to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal land.
Fox said he and the attorneys general from those states sent a letter last week to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell expressing "serious concerns" and "strong objection" to the proposed rules governing hydraulic fracturing. Also known as fracking, the technique boosts production from oil and gas wells by pumping pressurized water into the wells to fracture open deposits.
The attorneys general argue that BLM fracking rules will duplicate existing state programs and cannot be justified.
"These states, including Montana, already have well trained staff who regulate fracking operations and issue permits," Fox said in a news release. "This is another example of the federal government trying to complicate the way states self-regulate in ways that work best for them, and could impede the development of oil and gas within their borders."