Gardner to Salazar: Proposed BLM fracking rules violate state water rights

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO) is pushing back on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing, saying that they represent a clear violation of state water laws. In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Gardner urges him not to let the BLM duplicate existing state regulations or encroach on state water authority.

“BLM's proposed rules could overstep their statutory authority over water, threatening all water right owners and undercutting the current system of state allocation and administration of water rights,” Gardner wrote. “BLM’s proposal creates federal approvals and mitigations for water source, water use, and water disposal. The rules give BLM veto authority over water use related to oil and natural gas development on federal lands, which is entirely inappropriate and an affront to Colorado system of prior appropriation.”

Also of concern is that BLM’s draft rules could actually discourage water recycling and reuse during the fracking process, which would be especially damaging to resources in the arid West. Gardner has always believed that the states, not the federal government, are best suited to manage their own natural resources.

BLM plans to finalize its rules by the end of the year. Gardner’s bipartisan letter was signed by 43 members of the House.


Congressman Gardner is a member in the U.S. House of Representatives serving Colorado's 4th Congressional District. He sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the following Subcommittees: Communications and Technology, Energy and Power, and Oversight and Investigations.

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