This bill — known as the No Drilling in Our Backyards Act — would prohibit the Dept. of the Interior from issuing a permit for any oil or gas drilling operation that’d be located within 1,500 feet of a home, business, school, or other building that the agency determines needs special protection.
What is House Bill H.R. 4246?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 4246
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA) introduced this bill to require that all oil and gas drilling occur at least 1,500 feet away from homes, schools, and businesses:
“Urban oil and gas drilling does not belong in our neighborhoods -- oil wells next to homes are causing a public health crisis in our communities. In my district, CA-44, oil wells are in our backyards and next to parks where children play. They are breathing in the pollution from oil drilling operations and suffering the health impacts such as asthma and respiratory problems.”
This legislation has the support of nine cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.
Of Note: Rep. Barragan’s office notes that the city of Dallas, TX has a 1,500 setback rule and that other efforts have been undertaken to create or expand “setbacks” -- which are buffers between oil and gas drilling and homes, businesses, and schools.
One such effort in the Colorado legislature to expand the state’s setback regulation from 500 to 1,000 feet failed in committee, with critics arguing that there is a lack of peer reviewed studies demonstrating the negative health impacts of living and being near oil and gas production. The state’s existing regulation was based on nuisances like noise and lighting issues, with the director of the state’s oil and gas commissioner saying they lacked data to address the issue of air emissions:
“There was not, in our opinion, sufficient, clear, undisputed scientific evidence to base a setback number on. Frankly, nothing would make me happier than (to have) somebody to tell me 1,007.5 feet is safe for everybody. That would be fantastic. That’s not going to happen. That was not the case in 2008, not the case in 2012, that is not the case in 2017.”
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: deepblush4you / iStock)
No Drilling in Our Backyards Act
To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to create a buffer in between oil and gas drilling operations and homes, businesses, schools, and other buildings that require special protection, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
Committee on Natural ResourcesEnergy and Mineral ResourcesIntroducedNovember 3rd, 2017
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