A fracking well.

Four States Sue U.S. Interior Over 'Too Strict' Fracking Regulations


Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado and now Utah are suing the U.S. Department of the Interior over fracking regulations issued by the federal government in March.

The federal government promised to “support safe and responsible hydraulic fracturing on public and American Indian lands,” according to a March 20 U.S. Interior Department statement announcing the regulations.

RELATED: Interior Department Issues Rule to Ensure 'Safe' Fracking in Indian Country

The state governments begged to differ.

"There is no question the practice of hydraulic fracturing should be regulated in order to ensure protection of the environment," said Governor Gary Herbert of Utah, which moved to join the suit on May 18, in a statement. "However, adoption of the proposed rule would create an inconsistent, costly and inefficient regulatory system that provides no additional environmental protection or public safety than is offered by programs already enforced by the state."

At the same time, fracking chemicals have been found in Pennsylvania drinking water, according to a report in USA Today.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial method of extracting oil and gas from shale beds that entails injecting chemical-laden water between the rocks. Afterward the wastewater is injected deep underground, where it supposedly does not contaminate the aquifer.

The practice has also been shown to cause earthquakes.

RELATED: Study Confirms That Fracking Caused Ohio Earthquakes

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