Comments on Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Rescission
In proposing to rescind its two-year-old rule for managing hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and tribal lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) fails to explain why the rescission’s estimated cost savings to industry justify the forgone benefits, such as environmental protection and increased worker safety. Our comments to BLM on the proposed rescission discuss the agency’s inadequate cost-benefit analysis, which does not sufficiently explain why changed circumstances in the past two years have altered the rule’s cost-benefit justification. While these comments focus on requirements for above-ground storage tanks, the criticisms of BLM’s analysis apply to the entire rescission. If BLM cannot provide a rational explanation—and, given the evidence from the 2015 record to justify the original rule, likely the agency cannot—BLM should not move forward with finalizing the proposed rescission.