Feds and law professors went to court to say a judge wrong to block fracking rules

Judge Scott Skavdahl of Casper ruled in June that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management lacks the authority to regulate fracking.

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By Ben Neary, Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A group of law professors and lawyers for the federal government say a U.S. judge in Wyoming was wrong to block rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal land.

Judge Scott Skavdahl of Casper ruled in June that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management lacks the authority to regulate fracking — a technique of injecting materials underground to increase energy production.

The Obama administration filed a brief last week with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, arguing the BLM may enact rules requiring companies to disclose what they’re injecting.

The law professors, including the author of a paper Skavdahl cited in his ruling, also told the court this week that they believe the judge was wrong.

Skavdahl had ruled on a legal challenge by Wyoming and other states.