Western Energy Alliance Thanks Leaders in the House and Senate for Passage of BLM Permit Funding

December 15, 2014

Senators Tom Udall and John Barrasso and Representative Rob Bishop Provide Bipartisan Leadership

(DENVER) - Western Energy Alliance applauds the passage of the BLM Permit Processing Improvement Act of 2014 to ensure funding for oil and natural gas permitting on federal lands. The legislation, which passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, provides some regulatory certainty for companies trying to operate on federal lands by ensuring that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will have basic funding for permitting past 2015. The legislation also provides flexibility to ensure funding more directly goes to those field offices where the permits originate.

Western Energy Alliance would like to thank Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and John Barrasso (R-WY) for their leadership on the bill. Western Energy Alliance has worked with them over the last two years to find a bipartisan way forward to ensure producers in New Mexico, Wyoming, across the West, and nationwide can continue to create jobs and economic opportunities from responsible development on federal lands.

We would like to thank Representative Rob Bishop for his work behind the scenes to ensure that a Senate-passed bill was moved quickly through the House and included in the final legislative package.  Rep. Bishop shows that there is a way to move legislation forward in a bipartisan manner.

The Alliance would also like to thank Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Energy Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO), and Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Chris Stewart (R-UT) for their leadership to secure final passage in the House.

“Permitting is a critical issue for western producers, as delays can cause development to be reallocated off public lands, or even to other areas of the country not predominated by public lands,” said Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs. “When that happens, westerners lose jobs, consumers lose American energy, and the taxpayer receives less return.

“Passage of the permit funding bill was achieved because all sides were willing to work together. Oil and natural gas producers agreed to higher fees for federal permits in exchange for regulatory certainty into the future. With a compromise bill that garnered strong bipartisan support, we were able to achieve the goal of restoring funding for permitting that would otherwise run out in 2015,” concluded Sgamma.