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Monday, December 05, 2011


Berg rightly rejects Senator Hoeven's backing of EPA's assurances



Congressman Rick Berg has justifiably come out in disagreement with Senator John Hoeven's support of "assurances" the EPA has made to not over-regulate the practice of "fracking" in the Bakken oil play.


From PlainsDaily.com:


Asked if he trusted the EPA's assurances that they aren't pursing a ban on fracking, Berg said "obviously not."


"I've asked for [assurances from the EPA] in writing," he said in an interview today. "We'll see if we get that. There are some requirements that are going to be coming out next year that could have an impact on how we're developing energy in North Dakota. I think we

Berg Introduces Regional Haze Bill To Rein In The EPA
Berg Introduces Regional Haze Bill To Rein In The EPA

 need to stay on top of that."


He also pointed out that fracking isn't the only area of regulatory concern with the EPA. "That's a big problem with the Haze rule," he said. "The state was going along with its own regulations and everything was just fine, and then the EPA decided to take it away."


Berg pointed to legislation he's co-sponsoring that he feels would protect states from unnecessary regulation. "We're going to vote on the REINS Act next week," he said noting that it would require that new regulatory rules be approved by a vote in Congress. "That bill would be the solution to a lot of the uncertainty that's out there with our energy industry and the business sector."


But Berg also said that the REINS Act isn't the only solution for regulatory overreach. "The REINS Act would be a fix. It would be like we in North Dakota have an administrative rules committee," he said. "Beyond that, what we need to do is we need to ensure that the states are going to regulate this and that it's not going to be kicked up to the federal government."  


The Senate voted on the REINS Act last month, but it failed to pass.


Hoeven Says EPA Won't Ban Fracking
Hoeven Says EPA Won't Ban Fracking
For his part, Senator Hoeven appeared yesterday on the Scott Hennen
radio program (listen here), reiterating the fact that he trusts the Obama Administration of the EPA's assurances.
Congressman Berg is correct in saying that without passing a law to control the EPA, there is no way anyone can really say that the EPA will never make a move to ban or substantially over-regulate the oil industry.  
Senator Hoeven should understand this, and should be leading the charge to get the EPA under control on the Senate side - not running cover for the Obama EPA.  
Betting that the EPA won't do anything negative on this issue is a bad bet by Senator Hoeven until legislation is passed.

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