The Interior Department is formally proposing to eliminate regulations targeting the use of fracking to produce crude oil and natural gas on federal land, which were set into motion under the Obama administration more than two years ago.
The Bureau of Land Management plans to initiate the repeal process Tuesday by publishing its final determination in the Federal Register.
"The BLM is now proposing to rescind the 2015 final rule because we believe it is unnecessarily duplicative of state and some tribal regulations and imposes burdensome reporting requirements and other unjustified costs on the oil and gas industry," according to a pre-publication copy of the Interior Department's Federal Register notice. "This proposed rule would return the affected sections of the Code of Federal Regulations to the language that existed immediately before the published effective date of the 2015 final rule."
The Bureau of Land Management's fracking rule, called Oil and Gas: Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands, has been targeted by a number of state lawsuits.
"I applaud Secretary [Ryan] Zinke and his team for their work in returning the department, its sub-agencies and bureaus to their core statutory functions," Rob Bishop, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said Monday. "Taking this job-killing federal regulatory overreach off the books is an important step in this process."
Bishop's office pointed out that a federal court last year ruled that the Interior Department did not possess the authority to regulate fracking.