The following bills are important for increasing development and production of oil and natural gas on federal public lands. Western Energy Alliance, the leading oil and natural gas industry voice for public lands issues, requests your support for these important bills. 

  • Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act: Western Energy Alliance supports Senator Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) bill that empowers states to continue managing Greater Sage-Grouse while providing them time to show the Fish & Wildlife Service that their conservation efforts are effective. Senator Gardner’s bill would help restore the proper federal/state balance when it comes to sage grouse conservation. The Act is a common-sense way to ensure the protection of the species without harming the western economy and job creation.

  • S. 293 ESA Settlements: Western Energy Alliance has joined IPAA and other trades in supporting Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) bill to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to establish a procedure for approval of ESA settlements. By allowing state, counties, and impacted parties to intervene in ESA lawsuits, the bill would prevent closed door settlements with environmental groups, such as those requiring the Fish & Wildlife Service to make determinations on 878 species according to strict timelines. 

  • REINS Act: Western Energy Alliance strongly supports the Regulations from the Executive in Need of  Scrutiny (REINS) Act, sponsored by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN). First introduced in 2011, the bill is an attempt to rein in some of the regulatory overreach that’s choking the American economy, and we’ve been on board since the beginning. The bill would require that any major rule having at least $100 million in economic impact be put before Congress for an up or down vote, and would reintroduce transparency and accountability into the federal rulemaking process. The REINS Act provides common-sense ways to ensure regulatory accountability to the American people through their elected representatives and to reduce the unintended negative consequences of new regulations on economic and job growth. 

BLM Permit Processing Act Passes Congress!

Western Energy Alliance thanks Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and John Barrasso (R-WY) for the passage of S.2240 the BLM Permit Processing Improvement Act of 2014 to maintain funding for BLM drilling permit processing past 2015. This bipartisan bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent in September. The Alliance worked with API, IPAA, USOGA and NMOGA to achieve industry and bipartisan Senate support for the bill.

In exchange for regulatory certainty on Application for Permit to Drill (APD) fees for ten years, independent producers agreed to a $3,000 increase in the permit fee, indexed to the cost of living. While our members already return $54.12 in royalties and lease revenue for every taxpayer dollar spent by BLM administering the entire federal onshore oil and gas program, we agreed to the increase in order to ensure funding did not expire at the end of fiscal year 2015. Although we already pay for all processing, inspections, monitoring, and any other administration of the federal program 54 times over, we compromised to provide that regulatory certainty. 

Related News Coverage

BLM legislation passes in Senate
September 30, 2014 - published in: Daily Times by Erny Zah

Senate passes Barrasso bill to streamline BLM oil and gas permits
September 19, 2014 - published in: Casper Star-Tribune by Benjamin Storrow 

Senate passes bill to speed BLM drilling permits
September 17, 2014 - published in: E&E Daily (subscription required) by Phil Taylor

Senate adopts bill making BLM drilling permit pilot program permanent
September 17, 2014 - published in: Oil and Gas Journal (subscription required) by Nick Snow

U.S. Senate passes bill to help with BLM oil and gas permitting process
September 19, 2014 - published in: Carlsbad Current-Argus by Zack Ponce 

Senate approves streamlining drilling permit process
September 19, 2014 - published in: Petro Global News by Staff 

BLM oil leases spark protest from environmental groups
September 16, 2014 - published in: Deseret News by Amy Joi O'Donoghue