National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act (H.R. 1964)
Status: Passed Committee on June 12, 2013 with a bipartisan vote of 26-14. Placed on the House Calendar.
June 12, 2013 -
The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act (H.R. 1964) 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 (NPR-A) are developed and transported in a timely, efficient manner.
The NPR-A 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 NPR-A.
In February, the Obama Administration finalized a plan to close over half of the NPR-A to energy production. In addition, bureaucratic delays have slowed construction of necessary roads, bridges and pipelines needed to transport the energy out of the Reserve once it is produced and the Administration’s new management plan establishes a “special area” around the entire southeastern boundary of NPRA.
The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act will cut through bureaucratic red-tape and unlock the full potential of the NPR-A to provide our Nation with American energy resources.
Specifically, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act will:
Clearly state and affirm that the NPR-A is explicitly designated for the purpose of providing oil and natural gas resources to the United States.
Nullify the plan released by the Obama Administration in February 2013 and require the Interior Department to issue a new integrated activity plan.
Require that annual lease sales be held in the NPR-A in areas with the most oil and natural gas resources.
Streamline the permitting process to ensure lease sales actually lead to energy being produced and transported out of the NPR-A 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 NPR-A. 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 NPR-A. The current data for available resources is based on conservative estimates and may not reflect NPR-A’s true potential.
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