Oversight Hearing on "Impacts to Onshore Jobs, Revenue, and Energy: Review and Status of Sec. 390 Categorical Exclusions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005"
Friday, September 9, 2011 10:00 AM
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
1324 Longworth House Office Building


SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Friday, September 9, 2011
10:00 a.m.

OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:

  • "Impacts to Onshore Jobs, Revenue, and Energy: Review and Status of Sec. 390 Categorical Exclusions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005"

OPENING STATEMENT:

The Honorable Doug Lamborn
Chairman

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Mike Pool
Deputy Director
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of Interior

Randy Bolles
Manager, Regulatory Affairs
Devon Energy
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Kathleen M. Sgamma
Director of Government & Public Affairs
Western Energy Alliance
(Truth in Testimony Form)

W. Jackson Coleman
Managing Partner and General Counsel
EnergyNorthAmerica, LLC
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Mark Gaffigan
Managing Director
Natural Resources and Environment Division
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Accompanied by:
Jeff Malcolm
Assistant Director
Natural Resources and Environment
U.S. Government Accountability Office

BACKGROUND:

The oversight hearing will explore the job creation, revenue and energy production potential of categorical exclusions and the damage done by the Obama Administration’s arbitrary rule change. Categorical exclusions are a common sense way to improve the government process of approving energy production, while at the same time ensuring protection of the environment. Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 05), Congress directed BLM to use categorical exclusions under Section 390 to expedite energy supplies by limiting redundant analysis and unnecessary red tape. Categorical exclusions can only be used under limited circumstances and are designed to encourage the development of energy on land where the environmental impact is minor, the fields have already been developed, or where drilling was already analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Soon after taking office, the Obama Administration imposed new rules to greatly slow down the use of categorical exclusions for energy production on federal lands. Eliminating categorical exclusions causes significant delays in oil and natural gas production that costs money, time and jobs. In August 2011, the Administration’s baseless new rule, which flew directly in the face of the categorical exclusions provision in EPAct 05, was overruled by a U.S. district judge.

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