Environment | Trust

BLM offers more time on fracking rules that affect Indian lands

The Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on a proposal to regulate hydraulic fracturing, a controversial energy-processing technique that's commonly known as fracking, on Indian lands.

Comments are being accepted until September 10, according to a Federal Register notice published yesterday. That gives tribes more time to comment on the Obama administration's decision to place Indian lands and public lands in the same category.

"As the Obama administration continues to offer millions of acres of America’s public lands for oil and gas development, it is critical that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place. We've been asked to allow more time for comment on the proposed rule and the BLM has determined that additional time was warranted so that all parties had an opportunity to participate," acting BLM Director Mike Pool said in a press release.

While not all tribes allow hydraulic fracturing, many have complained that they haven't been adequately consulted about the rule. They also say federal law doesn't grant BLM authority over Indian and trust lands.

Get the Story:
Officials delay release of draft federal fracking rules (The Casper Star-Tribune 6/26)

Federal Register Notice:
Oil and Gas; Well Stimulation, Including Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands (June 26, 2012)

Native Sun News: Tribes face deadline on fracking regulations (6/26)
Native Sun News: DOI seeks to regulate fracking with new rule (05/11)
Editorial: New DOI regulation makes fracking a safer practice (05/11)
Coalition of Large Tribes criticizes DOI regulation for fracking (5/10)
DOI rule claims authority to regulate fracking on reservations (5/9)
Editorial: EPA's fracking rules will help reduce air pollution (4/25)
Audio: Subcommittee hearing on fracking on tribal lands (4/19)
Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee hearing (4/18)
House hearings on tribal energy and Pascua Yaqui land bill (4/10)
North Dakota tribe asks Congress to block fracking proposal (3/30)
Blackfeet Nation brings fracking technology to reservation (3/28)

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