A Wyoming judge ruled this week that the Obama administration had grossly overstepped its authority when the Bureau of Land Management last year sought greater restrictions on fracking for federal and tribal lands.
The decision is a rebuke to the Obama administration’s executive-branch environmental activism, conducted with flagrant disregard for congressional checks and balances.
As the Wall Street Journal editorial page wrote, “BLM’s overreach was notably egregious because Congress passed an energy law in 2005 that stripped the executive branch of fracking jurisdiction and gave that power to the states.” The BLM ignored that, regulating anyway.
The ruling is also especially welcome news for Native Americans. As we’ve noted before, the regulations put them at a major competitive disadvantage.
Though tribal lands hold as much as $1.5 trillion in energy resources, any company seeking to explore had to go through a 49-step permit process. On private lands, they had to jump through just four hoops. Any guess to where energy companies decided to drill?
It’s a cherry on top that the ruling came from an Obama-appointed judge, Scott Skavdahl, who didn’t let politics interfere with his decision.