Oregon State Lawmakers Pass Five-Year Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

The Oregon legislature on June 7 approved a measure that seeks to prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas exploration and production. The ban is set to expire on Jan. 2, 2025. (HB 2623)

The bill exempts the use of fracturing for natural gas storage wells, geothermal activities, and existing coal bed methane extraction. There are currently no oil and gas fracturing operations in Oregon. The practice requires a permit and is regulated by the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Department of Environmental Quality, and the Water Resources Department.

Last month, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed legislation that bans the use of hydraulic fracturing for exploring for, and producing oil and natural gas. Currently, there is no oil and gas production in the state. About 600 exploratory wells have been drilled, but large-scale commercial production has not occurred. (SB 5145)