Below is a report from NPR on an important recent decision.
NPR, based on past reporting, is in favor of the Federal Executive exercise of power. Nevertheless, the fundamental points regarding the federal ruling are clearly stated in the excerpt below.
"A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.
In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.
Skavdahl made it clear what he was — and wasn't — considering in his ruling.
"The issue before this Court is not whether hydraulic fracturing is good or bad for the environment or the citizens of the United States," he wrote. The question, instead, is "whether Congress has delegated to the Department of Interior legal authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. It has not."
Skavdahl (who was appointed by President Obama) concludes that, because Congress specifically removed federal authority to oversee fracking, the nation's legislators weren't intending for another federal agency to step in and take on a similar role.
For another perspective, see the ruling itself or the WSJ report, both linked below: