The Obama administration announced broad new federal regulations of hydraulic fracturing last week. The rules will only apply to drilling on public land — which in New Mexico accounts for around half of all oil and gas operations.
The new regulations announced by the Interior Department allow for federal inspections of drill sites and require public disclosure of fracking chemicals, among other things.
Wally Drangmeister, of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, said that could put New Mexico at a disadvantage in attracting energy development. “Just to have another layer of regulation, the biggest impact is not necessarily an environmental protection, it’s just an increased cost,” he said.
Drangmeister said oil and gas development is already strictly regulated by the state. But environmental groups are calling the rules an important step in protecting human and environmental health.