The Obama administration’s fracking regulations for federal and Indian lands, promulgated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2015, were subjected to multiple legal challenges immediately after they were issued. The Trump administration’s repeal of those regulations in late 2017 has been no different. Shortly after the repeal was issued, the state of California and several environmental groups filed lawsuits against the BLM, the secretary of the interior, and the assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management, seeking an injunction and a declaration that the repeal violated numerous federal statutes. After the suits were filed, multiple industry groups and the state of Wyoming have sought to intervene and transfer the case to federal court in Wyoming, which decided the initial legal challenge to the Obama administration’s fracking regulations. Industry participants should continue to keep a close eye on this latest legal battle over fracking on federal and Indian lands, which will likely be decided on cross-motions for summary judgment based on the sizable administrative record.
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