Natural Resources Provisions Again Included Within NDAA
Bipartisan Agreement on Public Lands Bills Balances Job Creation, Conservation, Energy & Mineral Production, Public Access & Recreation, and Support for National Parks
December 3, 2014
Bipartisan agreement has been reached on the natural resources provisions that will be included within this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House-Senate agreement supports American job creation and economic growth through a balanced approach to improve the management of our public lands and natural resources while protecting treasured areas.
For multiple Congresses, the NDAA has included provisions within the jurisdiction of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. This year’s provisions are included in Title 30 of NDAA, with the multiple sections reflecting individual bills, each of which has been subject to public review in the House or Senate, and the majority have already passed the House or Senate.
The bills in the agreement will create thousands of American jobs, cut red-tape to energy production on federal lands, boost American mineral production, protect multiple-use and public recreation on federal lands, convey over 100,000 acres of federal land for job-creating economic and community development, protect treasured lands through the measured establishment of locally-supported parks and wilderness areas, and provide new means to enhance private dollars to support America’s National Parks.
“As it has traditionally done, this year’s annual national defense bill contains natural resources provisions that are the result of a bipartisan agreement. Of great importance to the House is the inclusion of long-standing priorities and House-passed bills that have languished in the Senate. The agreement offers a balanced approach to public lands management, providing opportunities for new job creation and energy and mineral production, while simultaneously protecting special areas,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).
Key highlights include:
Expanding American Energy & Mineral Production
• Boosts new oil and natural gas production on federal lands by reducing permit delays, providing regulatory certainty to American job creators, preventing the Obama Administration from increasing costs, and extending a successful pilot program that helps the Bureau of Land Management deal with a backlog of drilling permit applications.
• Responsibly facilitates several proposed mineral development projects, which includes allowing for opening up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world – supporting nearly 3,700 American jobs, creating $61.4 billion in total economic impact, generating nearly $20 billion in federal, state, county and local tax revenue, and producing enough copper to meet 25 percent of current U.S. demand.
Protecting Jobs and Multiple-Use of Federal Lands
• Reduces grazing permit backlogs and adds needed certainty to America’s ranching community.
• Updates fee structure to provide predictable, fair rates so families are not forced to tear down cabins they own in national forests.
Balancing Conservation Designations with Federal Land Conveyances
• Provides for over 110,000 acres of land to be conveyed out of federal ownership – to be utilized for economic development (including mineral production, timber production, infrastructure projects) and community development (ie, local cemetery, shooting range).
• Supports America’s National Parks by providing new means of enhancing private funding (through donor recognition and the issuance of a commemorative coin to recognize the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016) and by designating a select number of new park units that have strong local support.
• Designates approximately 245,000 acres of wilderness in specific areas with strong local and Congressional support. Nearly half of those acres are already managed as if it were wilderness due to its current status as a roadless or wilderness study area.
• Releases 26,000 acres of current wilderness study areas to multiple use.
• Protects private property owners in land designations by ensuring that no private property can be condemned.