DENVER – Western Energy Alliance today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed new and existing source methane rules. Certain provisions in the proposed rules would render significant oil and natural gas facilities in the United States, particularly marginal wells, uneconomic to operate, further constraining domestic supply, increasing energy prices, and making America more dependent on oil produced overseas,
“We support cost-effective regulation that incentivizes innovation, rewards positive performance, and provides regulatory certainty, but EPA’s proposed rules fail on all accounts. Several provisions in the rules would be impractical to implement, technically infeasible, provide no environmental benefit, and discourage the use of innovative technologies. The so-called super-emitter program, which would outsource EPA and state regulatory authority even to community groups that lack technical expertise, is flat out unlawful,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “By EPA’s own admission, the rules will reduce American oil and natural gas production, forcing the country to become more dependent on oil produced overseas.
Alliance President to Testify in Oversight Hearing on Biden’s Overreaching Oil and Natural Gas Policies
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance’s president, Kathleen Sgamma, will testify at a hearing entitled “Unleashing America's Energy and Mineral Potential” before the House Natural Resources Committee. Sgamma’s testimony will focus on addressing overregulation by federal agencies, delays created by excessive environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, and corrections needed within the Inflation Reduction Act. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th, at 10:00 a.m. ET, and will be available on the committee’s website.
“We know we need more energy. The administration admitted that nearly a year ago when, after the
invasion of Ukraine, the White House tried to blame our producers for not developing on, interchangeably, 9,000 leases and/or permits,” said Sgamma. “The president says he wants more American production, but where he has the most control, on tribal and federal public lands, his Interior Department is making it more difficult to do so at every turn and with every policy decision.”
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) yesterday submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding the proposed rule on Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation. The associations urged the agency to implement targeted changes to portions of the proposed regulations on methane emissions that overstep the authority granted by Congress and reminded officials of the successful legal challenges to a similar rule in 2016.
“BLM can regulate waste of methane, but it does not have the authority to regulate air quality. The Clean Air Act gives that authority to EPA and the states, as affirmed by a federal court in striking down a similar rule from the Obama Administration. BLM makes some of the same mistakes in this rule as in the rule we successfully overturned,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. “In collaboration with universities and regulators, our members continue to advance technologies such as remote sensing and airborne detection with satellites, aircraft, and drones to more quickly detect and fix methane leaks in the field. This continual innovation has enabled the American oil and natural gas industry to decrease methane emissions by 23% since 1990, even as oil and natural gas production have increased 49% and 71%, respectively.”
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance this week joined 25 state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor’s final rule on prudence and loyalty selecting plan investments for pension plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The rule enables investment managers to elevate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and climate change issues above fiduciary factors when making investments on behalf of retirees and workers. In addition to threatening financial returns for millions of workers and retirees, the rule is one of many the Biden Administration is enacting to deny financing for oil and natural gas projects, threatening the American energy supply, reducing energy security, and increasing energy prices. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on January 26, 2023.
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding a proposed ten-mile zone around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park that would prevent oil and natural gas leasing in the area for the next 20 years. The Alliance’s comments on BLM’s Environmental Assessment (EA) stressed the severe economic impact to members of the Navajo Nation who own energy resources and urged the agency to accept the Tribe’s compromise of a five-mile buffer zone.
According to an analysis by Enduring Resources (contained in the docket), the withdrawal would prevent 233 horizontal wells and the production of 86 million barrels of oil and 25.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas, costing the federal government $51 million annually in lost royalties, or $1 billion over 20 years. Navajo mineral owners would lose an estimated $194.3 million over that 20-year period.