Western Energy Alliance Urges Passage of the RAPID Act

March 5, 2014

(Denver) - Western Energy Alliance urges passage of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives this week to address growing delays of environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that discourage oil and natural gas production on federal land in the West. Passage of the Responsibility and Professional Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act would address the negative economic impacts federal agencies create by stalling environmental review under NEPA.

The RAPID Act requires federal agencies to more efficiently process environmental analysis in order to encourage job creation and economic growth. The Act would impose reasonable deadlines on NEPA documents and reduce redundant analysis. In particular, it would require environmental impact statements (EIS) to be completed within two years and environmental assessments (EA) within one year.

“We’ve seen excessive delays to oil and natural gas projects over the past several years,” said Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs at Western Energy Alliance. “The government is taking as much as four years for small projects of just a handful of wells, and more than eight years for large projects. In the West, government NEPA delays of three or more years are preventing 78,987 jobs and $17.8 billion in annual economic impact.”

In 2012, SWCA Environmental Consultants conducted a study of twenty proposed oil and natural gas projects in the West and found they could create 120,905 jobs and $27.5 billion in annual economic activity. Two years later, only two projects have been approved while the clock keeps ticking and more projects have exceeded the three-year threshold. The report entitled “Economic Impacts of Oil and Gas Development on Public Lands in the West” is available on the Alliance’s website.

A short video on NEPA delays is also available on the Alliance’s website.

 NEPA Delay Video

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