The Trump administration is rescinding proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing and other oil- and gas-drilling practices on government lands, officials said Thursday.
The rules developed under President Barack Obama would have applied mainly in the West, where most federal lands are located. Companies would have had to disclose the chemicals used in fracking, which pumps pressurized water underground to break open hydrocarbon deposits.
The rules to be rescinded Friday were supposed to take effect in 2015, but a federal judge in Wyoming blocked them at the last minute. In September, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver declined to rule in that case because the Trump administration intended to rescind the rules.
The long-awaited change drew praise from industry groups including the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance, which sued to block the rules. They said the federal rules would have duplicated state regulations, putting unnecessary and expensive burdens on petroleum developers.
“States have an exemplary safety record regulating fracking, and that environmental protection will continue as before,” Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma said in a release.