By Bob Adelmann
An Obama-appointed federal judge ruled last Tuesday that the Interior Department and its agency the Bureau of Land Management overreached its authority in issuing rules on fracking. He declared: “Congress has not delegated to the Department of the Interior the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing [fracking]. [Its] effort to do so through the Fracking Rule is in excess of its statutory authority and contrary to law.”
When the Fracking Rule was originally published by the BLM in March 2015, the Independent Petroleum Association of America immediately filed a suit, which was joined by the states of Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, and Utah. Federal Judge Scott Skavdahl, the same judge who ruled on Tuesday, placed a temporary injunction on implementing that rule until he had time to review it in detail. That temporary injunction would have expired last Friday. . . .
A final point raised in the decision is the necessity for an informed citizenry to be jealous of its freedoms. Often attributed to either Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, James Buchanan, or William Henry Harrison, it was actually John Philpot Curran who first stated, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”