Federal Fracking Rules—'What's the Point?': Governor

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Hours after the Interior Department proposed new rules for fracking on public lands, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead on Friday called the move unnecessary.

“Well, we’re a little baffled by them, frankly, because they’re a little late in coming, for one,” he said on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.” “We already have fracking regulations, and our rules are, frankly, a little bit more robust than what the federal government put out there.”

Mead said federal rules would cause confusion for companies looking to extract shale gas by the environmentally controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“It’s going to be a challenge for those companies,” he said.

The Interior Department proposal would require companies to obtain government approval for fracking.

Mead said the federal rules would provide “dis-incentives” for states to be pro-active on regulating the extraction method.

“It draws a question: What’s the point? It’s either redundant or it’s in conflict,” he said.

“We recognize that it’s good for America when the oil and gas industry does well because it’s related to the cost everything energy is — homes, cars, our roads. What we’ve seen of the administration, I don’t think, is a great appreciation for what energy means. Energy is one of the things that can help drive this economy, and we have an opportunity for affordable American energy in this country with the advancement of these technologies.

“It’s a disappointment that states like Wyoming have stepped up and have already addressed this and the federal government still feels like they need to come over and put a cookie-cutter approach over all states,” he said. “So, as I said, I’m a bit baffled by it.”

Mead also voiced support for Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, amid worse-than-expected employment figures.

“I think Mitt Romney, with his private-sector experience, his experience as governor, knowing how to balance a budget, I think this should help him,” he said. “Nobody likes bad news for the country in any sense, but I think it terms of the election it should be a help to Mitt Romney.”

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