This is What Overreach Looks Like

by Tim Wigley, President on May 4, 2015 - 2:48pm

Spring is in full swing, and we’re already knee deep in the regulatory onslaught.

So far this year, Western Energy Alliance has engaged in rulemaking on a new ozone standard, another round of Quad O air regulations, and greenhouse gas reporting, and now the Resource Management Plan amendments (RMPA) are hitting.

We’ve filed a lawsuit along with Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) fracking rule, challenged the science on sage grouse, and formally objected to Forest Plans in the White River National Forest and Pawnee National Grasslands. We recently protested BLM’s White River Proposed RMPA, and are engaged in doing the same for the Grand Junction RMPA. Both will make it nearly impossible to develop energy in those areas of the Piceance Basin, as if the Colorado’s West Slope wasn’t experiencing enough economic misery already.

Just around the corner are 14 Resource Management Plan Amendments (RMPA) for Greater Sage-Grouse (GrSG) that cover 68 BLM planning areas and 30 National Forests representing nearly 60 million acres in 11 western states. Those are expected to hit all at once, with just 30 days to protest each one.

As if that weren’t enough, we’re currently responding to a new Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR – the former MMS) oil and natural gas valuation rule, and the Interior Department has just announced plans to increase the onshore royalty rate, along with minimum bonuses, rentals, civil penalties, and bonds.

This is what overreach looks like!

We’ve been warning about this regulatory drive during the last two years of the Obama Administration, and we don’t expect it to let up until a few months before the election. That’s when we anticipate President will take his foot off the brake in an effort to help a Democrat succeed him in the White House. Then it will end with a bang after the election as the Administration tries to ram through last minute policies.