National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act (H.R. 2150)
Status: Passed in Committee on July 13, 2011 with a bipartisan vote of 28 to 14. Placed on the House Calendar.
June 9, 2011 -
The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act will create new jobs, support current energy jobs in Alaska, expand American energy production and lower energy costs by ensuring that oil and natural gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve -Alaska (NPRA) are developed and transported in a timely, efficient manner.
The NPRA was specifically established as a petroleum reserve in 1923 and again in 1981 when stewardship was passed from the Navy to the Interior Department. According to conservative estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, there are over 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the NPRA.
There is bipartisan support for developing the NPRA and President Obama has called for annual lease sales in his May 14th weekly address. However, lease sales will have little impact if bureaucratic delays continue to block the construction of necessary roads, bridges and pipelines needed to transport the energy out of the Reserve once it is produced. For example, ConocoPhillips has been waiting since 2008 for a permit to build a bridge and pipeline in order to transport oil and natural gas out of a ready-to-produce field.
The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act will cut through bureaucratic red-tape and unlock the full potential of the NPRA to provide our Nation with American energy resources.
Specifically, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act will:
Clearly state and affirm that the NPRA is explicitly designated for the purpose of providing oil and natural gas resources to the United States.
Require that annual lease sales be held in the NPRA in areas with the most oil and natural gas resources. President Obama called for annual NPRA lease sales in his weekly address on May 14th.
Streamline the permitting process to ensure lease sales actually lead to energy being produced and transported out of the NPRA and delivered to the continental U.S.
Set firm timelines for infrastructure permits to be approved to ensure that bureaucratic delays do not prevent oil and natural gas resources from being transported out of the NPRA. It establishes a 60 day timeframe to approve infrastructure permits for leases where the Secretary has already issued a permit to drill and a 6 month timeframe to approve infrastructure permits for all other existing and future Federal leases.
Require the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a right-of-way plan detailing how existing and future leases will be within 25 miles of an approved road or pipeline.
Require an updated comprehensive assessment, in consultation with the State of Alaska and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, of all oil and natural gas resources in the NPRA. The current data for available resources is based on conservative estimates and may not reflect NPRA’s true potential.
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