Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013 (H.R. 1965)
Status: Passed the House on November 20, 2013 with a bipartisan vote of 228-192. Awaits consideration by the Senate.
November 20, 2013 -
The Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013 (H.R. 1965) would protect and expand onshore American energy production and create new American jobs by streamlining government red-tape and regulations.
Costly litigation, endless red-tape and burdensome bureaucratic processes are often the biggest obstacles to energy production and job creation. These bills establish an efficient and effective process to responsibly produce both renewable and conventional energy on our federal lands.
Federal oil and natural gas production has declined since President Obama took office. Since 2009, total federal oil production is down 7.8 percent and total federal natural gas production is down 21 percent. ALL of the increase in U.S. oil and natural gas production has been on state and private lands, not federal lands.
Title I - Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act:
The Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), would streamline government roadblocks and bureaucratic red-tape that block and delay onshore American energy production and job creation.
The bill would reform the leasing process for onshore oil and natural gas projects on federal lands to eliminate unnecessary delays; reform the process for energy permitting, once a lease is in hand, to encourage the timely development of our federal resources; ensure funds are available for efficient wind and solar permitting; and set clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources.
The Obama Administration has had the four lowest years of federal acres leased for energy production going back to 1988.
This bill would expand onshore energy production by requiring the Interior Secretary to conduct new lease sales in areas identified with the greatest energy potential, prohibit the Interior Secretary from taking away leases already sold, set firm timelines for the Secretary to issue leases, and prohibit the Secretary from changing the rules after the leases and contracts have been finalized.
This bill would ensure the timely approval of permits by setting a firm timeline for the Interior Secretary to act on a permit to drill; direct a portion of permit processing fees and rights of way fees to the local office where they were collected in order ensure the permitting agencies have the personnel, expertise, and resources to keep American oil, natural gas, wind and solar production on track by processing permits, leases and protests in a timely manner; and ensure American energy projects are not indefinitely delayed by frivolous lawsuits by setting reasonable time limits for litigation.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. holds more than half of the world’s oil shale resources - six times Saudi Arabia’s proven resources, and enough to provide the United States with energy for the next 200 years.
Since taking office the Obama Administration has repeatedly hindered oil shale development, preventing the production of this new energy resource and blocking the creation of thousands of American jobs.
This bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue additional Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) leases within 180 days after enactment of bids published on January 15, 2009; direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue at least 5 separate commercial lease sales by January 1, 2016; provide regulatory certainty to oil and natural gas producers for commercial development; and provide the Secretary of the Interior the ability to temporarily reduce royalties and fees paid by oil producers in order to further incentivize and encourage energy development.
Title II - The Planning for American Energy Act:
The Planning for American Energy Act, introduced by Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03), would establish common sense steps to create an all-of-the-above American energy plan using our vast federal resources.
The bill ensures that our Nation’s energy needs are met through development of both traditional and alternative energy resources–a true all-of-the-above approach that will lower the cost of energy, grow our economy, and get Americans working.
Specifically, the Planning for American Energy Act would:
Strengthen our energy security by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to develop a Quadrennial Federal Onshore Energy Production Strategy (a strategic action plan) every four years on how to responsibly develop our federal onshore energy resources in order to meet the United States’ energy demands and promote the energy security of our Nation.
Require the Secretary to set production objectives for the development of our Federal resources. Also requires the Secretary to report annually to Congress on the progress of meeting these objectives.
Ensure the development of a true all-of-the-above energy plan that embraces all of America’s vast energy resources by requiring that oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, oil shale and minerals be included in the plan.
Title III - The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act:
The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act, introduced by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) and Rep. Don Young (AK-at large), would 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 NPR-A.
Specifically, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act would:
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.
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.
Title IV - The BLM Live Internet Auctions Act:
The BLM Live Internet Auctions Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06), would modernize and update the bidding process for federal onshore oil and natural gas leases, bringing the process into the 21st century and saving taxpayer dollars.
It gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to conduct Internet-based auctions for onshore leases to ensure the best return to the Federal taxpayer, reduce fraud, and secure the leasing process.
Title V - The Native American Energy Act:
The Native American Energy Act, introduced by Rep. Don Young (AK-at large),would streamline burdensome and duplicative government regulations and remove the barriers erected by the Obama Administration that are blocking Indian tribes from developing energy resources on their own land and creating new jobs.
In some Indian communities, the highest-wage jobs held by tribal members are those in the oil, natural gas, and mining industries. H.R. 1548 enhances the ability of tribes to create new jobs in energy industries on Indian lands.
Specifically, the Native American Energy Act would:
Protect Indian jobs by blocking ANY federal rule on hydraulic fracturing from taking effect on Indian Trust Lands unless it is with the consent of the Indian owners of the lands.
Discourage unnecessary and frivolous lawsuits that are specifically designed to prevent Indians from producing energy on their own land and eliminate taxpayer compensation to those filing frivolous lawsuits to prohibit energy development on Indian lands.
Requires that any environmental impact statement for a major federal action on a tribe’s land, required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to be available for public comment only by members of the affected Indian tribe and other individuals within the affected area.
Allows the Navajo Nation to conduct their own mineral leasing without involvement of the Department of the Interior as long as the leasing is conducted under Navajo tribal leasing laws that received prior approval from the Secretary of the Interior.
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