A federal judge in Wyoming has postponed new federal rules for oil and gas drilling on federal land a day before they were set to take effect.
The stay issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl means new rules for the practice of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands now won't take effect until at least mid-August.
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Skavdahl says he wants more documentation showing how the U.S. Bureau of Land Management developed the rules. Only then will he rule on whether the rules should take effect while a lawsuit contesting them moves ahead.
Colorado, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and two petroleum industry groups claim the rules would cause economic harm by discouraging oil and gas development. Attorneys for the states and industry groups said they're pleased by the stay.
Interior spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw says the BLM will abide by the stay and process drilling permits under the pre-existing regulations for now.