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Press Release

Bishop, Gov. Martinez Applaud Steps Forward on Onshore Energy Development

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House Committee on Natural Resources held a legislative hearing on four onshore energy development discussion drafts which will expedite the burdensome regulatory process and help American families across the nation pay less at the pump. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R-N.M) testified in support of the proposals that would increase efficiencies in the oil and gas industry and increase revenues for the state and federal government.

“First, I would like to thank Governor Martinez for joining us today. Having the Governor’s input is valuable for this discussion and will help pave a legislative path forward. For far too long, onshore energy production has been stymied on federal lands as a result of burdensome, duplicative requirements. These proposals represent commonsense solutions to streamlining the oil and gas permitting and leasing process,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said. 

“In addition to impacting important services, delays in the approval of permits also affect job growth and rural economic development. Oil and gas activity contributes more than $11.3 billion to New Mexico’s economy and is responsible for more than 100,000 jobs. Each backlogged permit represents New Mexicans losing out on good-paying jobs and rural communities losing out on economic growth,” Gov. Martinez said.

Witnesses also included New Mexico Energy Secretary Ken McQueen, the Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary Katharine MacGregor, and the State of Utah Director of Oil, Gas and Mining John Baza.  

Stakeholder support for the legislative proposals includes:

“IPAA is encouraged to see the House Natural Resources Committee address the burdensome regulatory concerns that add undue costs to operating on public lands. Specifically, IPAA is pleased to see the Committee consider forward-thinking solutions that clarify and promote the use of categorical exclusions, address issues with the federal nexus, and create a more tailored permitting program. These discussion drafts are a positive step towards cutting unnecessary red tape and providing increased certainty for our member companies who seek to responsibly operate on public lands. IPAA commends Chairman Bishop and the authors of each draft bill on their efforts to codify these important issues, rather than allow industry to be whip-sawed by the political whims of each new administration.” – Barry Russell, president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)

“Western Energy Alliance strongly supports the four draft onshore energy bills, and applauds the Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources for holding today’s hearing. For too long, bureaucratic overreach and inefficiency have hampered environmentally responsible oil and natural gas development on federal lands. These are good government bills that recognize that most wells’ impacts are known and managed effectively to meet rigorous environmental standards. Wells that meet the standards should not be subject to duplicative red tape and interminable government delay.” – Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance

Click here for more information on the discussion drafts sponsored by Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.).