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Press Release

Bills Increasing Responsible Energy Development, Public Education Funding Pass Committee

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources advanced several onshore energy development bills, including H.R. 6107 (U.S. Rep. Pearce, R-N.M.), H.R. 6088 (U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah), H.R. 6087 (U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.), and H.R. 5859 (U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo.).

“These bills will benefit the American taxpayer by cutting red tape and streamlining permitting processes in order to lower energy costs, create jobs, and increase funding for public schools across the nation. I want to thank my colleagues for their hard work on these needed reforms and look forward to moving them through the House,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said.

H.R. 6087, the Removing Barriers to Energy Independence Act, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to recover the cost of processing administrative protests for oil and gas lease sales, applications for permits to drill, and right-of-way applications.

“The energy industry, the lifeblood of our economy in Wyoming, has been severely burdened by lengthy and often frivolous protests on energy projects. I’m proud my bill will help stop the abuses of this system by charging a nominal fee for protests of oil and gas lease sales, applications for permit to drill, and right of way applications. The Removing Barriers to Energy Independence Act brings much needed and long overdue relief to Wyoming oil and gas operators,” Cheney stated.

H.R. 6107, the Ending Duplicative Permitting Act, clarifies that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cannot require permits for oil and gas drilling activities on private or state-owned surface, unless the federal government owns more than 50% of the mineral estate impacted by such activities.

“Energy independence is a vital step forward for our nation’s well-being. Improving the federal government’s slow permitting process is essential for making this great step forward. I have greatly enjoyed working with the Natural Resources Committee on this important bill. I thank my colleagues for joining with me to keep this bill moving towards the House Floor,” Pearce said.

H.R. 6088, the Streamlining Permitting Efficiency in Energy Development Act or SPEED Act, reorganizes the oil and gas permitting process by allowing BLM to expedite the approval of drilling activities that pose little or no environmental harm.

“This bill will help ensure that Utah’s rural communities are growing by speeding up the burdensome approval process for responsible energy projects. I’m delighted to see this legislation move forward. It’s a victory for Utah and American energy independence,” Curtis stated.

H.R. 5859, the Education and Energy Act of 2018, amends the Mineral Leasing Act to require that a portion of revenues from new Federal mineral and geothermal leases be paid to States for use to supplement the education of students in kindergarten through grade 12 and public support of institutions of higher education.

“The Education and Energy Act is a win-win for the nation. This bill would allow us to provide more funding for K-12 and public higher education, all while creating good paying jobs, lowering energy prices, and setting the stage for U.S. energy resources to be exported to our allies. Property taxes continue to be the largest source of funding for the public school system, so in rural counties in my district, where a majority of land is owned by the federal government and therefore not taxable, education budgets are tight,” continued Tipton. “The Education and Energy Act would fix this disparity by sending more of the federal revenues back to the county from which the royalties were derived,” Tipton said.

Stakeholder support for the legislative proposals H.R. 6107, H.R. 6088, and H.R. 6087 includes:

“API supports legislation that removes unnecessary obstacles to safe and responsible energy development and by doing so, promotes U.S. job growth, increases domestic oil and natural gas production, generates revenues for federal, state and tribal governments, and strengthens our national security. These bills do just that.” Erik Milito, group director of upstream and industry operations of the American Petroleum Institute (API)

“Western Energy Alliance strongly supports these bills that reduce permitting delays and duplicative regulatory requirements, and appreciates your leadership advancing them in Congress… Thank you for advancing onshore bills through your committee that will increase regulatory certainty for environmentally responsible oil and natural gas operations on federal lands.” – Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance

“IPAA applauds the Committee for taking the necessary steps to ensure federal permitting reform is codified into law and, therefore, cannot be changed by the whims of an Administration who aligns with the environmental or “keep it in the group” movement. The American people win when U.S. energy development on public land is conducted in a responsible and robust manner.” – Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)

“The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) supports energy laws and regulations that responsibly enable the exploration and production of oil and gas on federal lands.” – Elizabeth Craddock, vice president of government and industry affairs of the International Association of Drilling Contractors  

“These bills are a great start to address key issues for royalty owners and we would be happy to provide further information to the Committee, if needed. We look forward to these bills moving forward soon to ensure private land and mineral owners are afforded the chance to control the disposition of their resources.” – Jerry Simmons, executive director of the National Association of Royalty Owners

“The New Mexico Oil & Gas Association (NMOGA) supports… H.R. 6107, which would expedite the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) permitting process for oil and gas activities on federal lands. In New Mexico, oil and gas production provides roughly one third of the revenue in the State’s general fund. This revenue provides funding for schools, healthcare, roads, teachers, and public safety. Oil and gas production also provides over 100,000 good paying jobs.” – Ryan Flynn, executive director for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association

“We are proud of your continued support and tireless efforts on behalf of the oil & gas industry in New Mexico... [T]o sustain the necessary growth and investment needed in our state, the streamlining of all Federal rules would encourage additional investment in New Mexico.” joint letter from Clair Chase, president, and Jim Winchester, executive director, for the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico