On November 20, 2013, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2728, Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, which was introduced by Representative Bill Flores (R-Texas). As discussed in a previous post (see Nov. 15, 2013 post), H.R. 2728 prohibits the Department of the Interior from enforcing federal regulations, guidance, or permit requirements regarding hydraulic fracturing that relate to oil, gas, or geothermal production in states that have regulations, guidance, or permit requirements for that type of activity. The federal government would have to defer to state regulation of hydraulic fracturing, even if the state regulation has different requirements or is as stringent as federal standards.
The bill is now under consideration by the Senate where it is unlikely to be passed, especially in its current form.