AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s (TPPF) Kathleen Hartnett White, distinguished senior fellow-in-residence and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment, and Robert Henneke, general counsel and director of the Center for the American Future today issued the following statements in reaction to a Wyoming federal judge’s decision to block an Interior Department rule that would have set stricter standards for hydraulic fracturing on public lands.
“A federal district court’s ruling that the Department of Interior’s new fracking regulations on public lands exceed the authority of federal law is a welcome addition to recent court decisions restraining the Obama Administration’s aggressive federal initiatives to bypass the will of the U.S. Congress,” said White. “Upstream oil and gas production has been effectively regulated by state governments for over fifty years. Thankfully, a federal court has upheld state authority under the rule of law articulated in our Constitution.”
Henneke explained, “Congressional inaction on an issue does not justify unilateral executive branch fiat. A fundamental tenet inherent to our nation is respect for the rule of law. In finding that Congress had not granted the Interior Department authority to restrict fracking on public lands, the court was correct in invalidating the fracking regulation.”
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl issued a ruling invalidating the fracking regulation, saying the Interior Department lacked the authority to issue it because Congress hadn’t given the agency such authority.
To schedule an interview with Ms. White or Mr. Henneke please contact Elizabeth Lincicome at [email protected] or 919-744-8087.
The Honorable Kathleen Hartnett White is Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence & Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment. She is the author, with Steve Moore, of "Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy," (Regnery Publishing, May 2016).
The Honorable Robert Henneke is the General Counsel and Director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.