Western Energy Alliance supports legislation aimed at promoting oil and natural gas development and creating a reasonable regulatory environment. We urge Congress to pass these important bills that have been introduced in the 116th U.S. Congress (2019-2020).
The ONSHORE Act would increase the efficiency of processing approvals for oil and natural gas activities by delegating this responsibility to the states in which the federal lands are located. States have robust oil and natural gas regulatory frameworks that have been in place for decades and render BLM’s permitting process redundant. States have demonstrated an exemplary safety record while ensuring energy development can occur in a timely fashion. We strongly support the provision in S. 218 to reduce the federal nexus so oil and natural gas wells on nonfederal lands with a minority of federal minerals do not get pulled into the extremely time-consuming federal review process.
The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act would allocate a portion of the revenue from oil and natural gas production on federal lands toward national parks and public lands maintenance, up to $1.3 billion annually. The maintenance backlog in the National Parks System totals nearly $12 billion, including campgrounds, roads, old buildings, and rundown trails. With BLM’s oil and natural gas lease sales breaking records, this bill would have a substantial, tangible impact in improving these beloved lands.
First introduced in 2011, the REINS Act would require 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.