A Summary of the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728)


On November 20, 2013, the House passed Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728), giving state law primacy over federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. The key provisions of the bill are summarized in the table below. Prior to the vote in the House, the White House issued a statement threatening to veto any legislation that would require the federal government to defer to the states on this issue.

H.R. 2728: Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act

Passed in the House of Representatives November 20, 2013

Amending The Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. § 181 et seq.)
State Authority The Department of the Interior may not enforce federal regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities in any state that has its own regulations, guidance, or permitting requirements for such processes.
Federal Lands Federal authorities must defer to a state’s regulations, guidance, or permitting requirements for hydraulic fracturing related activities on federal lands located within that state.
Tribal Lands Absent express consent from the appropriate tribal authorities, the Department of the Interior may not enforce federal regulations, guidance, or permitting requirements concerning the underground injection of fluids related to hydraulic fracturing activities on tribal lands.
Definition Hydraulic fracturing defined as “the process by which fracturing fluids (or a fracturing fluid system) are pumped into an underground geological formation at a calculated, predetermined rate and pressure to generate fractures or cracks in the target formation and thereby increase the permeability of the rock near the wellbore and improve   production of natural gas or oil.”
Studies The Secretary of the Department of the Interior must review annually all state hydraulic fracturing activities and provide Congress with a report. The Government Accountability Office must conduct a study regarding the economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing.
Transparency Each state must submit a copy of its regulations   concerning hydraulic fracturing on federal lands to the Bureau of Land Management. States must also submit a copy of any regulation that requires the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing projects on Federal lands. The Bureau must make all submitted regulations available to the public.

Shale Blog Table_ HR 2728

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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