Sitton: Frack Ruling Right Decision

Recent fracking ruling is a ‘landmark’ case, according to Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton.

Related: Bakken Officials Applaud Court ruling on Fracking

State officials from oil and gas producing regions are lauding the recent ruling that struck down new regulations for fracking in public lands. Even state that aren’t specifically affected are saying the ruling affirms their power to oversee their own state’s oil and gas activity.

After the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed tougher fracking regulations last year, industry groups joined with several states to form a massive case that was heard in Judge Scott Skavdahl’s court. The argued that fracking rules aren’t necessary because the EPA has already granted authority to the states to monitor and protect underground water sources. Last month, Stavdahl affirmed that the BLM had overstepped their authority and affirmed that the states have an interest to regulate hydraulic fracturing.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton spoke to Midland Reporter about the decision, hailing it as a landmark case where constitutional issues trump politics. He said that the Railroad Commission’s expertise is far superior to that of far-off bureaucrats, which makes them the best agency to monitor environmental rulings in Texas.

I really applaud the judge. He seemed to steer very clear of politics in this decision and talked very clearly about what powers were enumerated to the executive branch, that Congress had not given this power to the executive branch. He talked about activities that were going on the states, and I think that this sends a very broad message that states have been regulating this and have a very good track record at regulation.
— Ryan Sitton

Texas officials currently faces environmental issues around the state as more and more people express concerns over the impact of oil and gas activity. In April the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) tightened fracking regulations near a North Texas Dam after concerns over the proximity of oil and gas activity.

Related: Fracking Rules Tightened in North Texas