Attorney General Tim Fox Opposes Drafted Fracking Rules - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Attorney General Tim Fox Opposes Drafted Fracking Rules

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BOZEMAN -

On Thursday, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced he opposes the new rules re-proposed by the Bureau of Land Management regulating hydraulic fracturing operations.

He joins four other state attorneys general in writing a letter to the Department Of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

It's been thirty years since the bureau of land management set their regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is the process of blasting underground layers of shale with a water chemical mixture to reach oil.

Now on their second draft, the B.LM.'s regulations would address controversial components of fracking, which opponents say pollutes ground water and other parts of the environment.

"Disclosing the chemicals they use in fracturing activities on public lands, improving assurances on well board integrity to verify fluids used during the fracturing operations are not contaminating ground water," said Kristen Lenhardt, B.L.M. spokeswoman.

Lenhardt says like many industries, a lot has changed in thirty years on how oil is extracted and it's time the B.L.M. adjusted its policies.

"The technology in the hydraulic fracturing process have changed in oil and gas development in general," said Lenhardt.

Attorney General Tim Fox joined other attorney generals from Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma and West Virginia in writing a letter to the Department Of Interior protesting the rules.

Fox said Montana would be negatively impacted by the rules as fracking is a widely used method of accessing the large quantity of oil in the Bakken Formation in eastern Montana and North Dakota.

Lenhardt said she welcomes the A.G.'s comments along with the other 1.3 million comments they've received on the second draft.

"These comments will be evaluated and analyzed with others when we proceed to the final rule making," said Lenhardt.

Lenhardt said the B.L.M. will work with the states on that final rule.

"The B.L.M. will work with states and tribes that already have standards in place so we don't introduce unnecessary duplication or delays," said Lenhardt

Lenhardt says there is no time frame when the B.L.M. will make its final rules.

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