IPAA President & CEO Barry Russell’s reflects on the opportunities and challenges of the year ahead:
“As 2013 begins, IPAA is optimistic that the great benefits of natural gas and oil development are gaining traction with leaders in Washington. Despite political gridlock that Washington seems to be characterized by these days, leaders on both sides of the aisle are recognizing that energy development environmental protection can and do work together to the benefit of the American people. IPAA has had several productive meetings with Congressional leadership and the White House on how development of oil and natural gas resources, particularly from shale, is boosting jobs, government revenue, and economic growth all across the nation. Below are some of the issues that IPAA will be working with Congress and the administration on.
“Although major bills will likely be stymied in Congress, IPAA’s major area of legislative concern is taxes. Although comprehensive tax reform may not be undertaken immediately, tax policy will inevitably be in the spotlight. The call to end industry’s provisions of intangible drilling costs and percentage depletion and the passive loss exclusion will inevitably resurface. This is a dangerous political rallying cry that ignores the enormous risk that independent producers face in exploring for energy and threatens the continued investment in America’s vibrant and growing energy sector. IPAA continues to educate lawmakers and their staff on why these provisions are in the tax code. We will continue to warn against the unintended consequences that eliminating these provisions would have on future oil and natural gas production.
“Due to the standstill in Congress, environmental issues will be addressed by regulations. In fact, the legislative gridlock could embolden the Obama administration’s agencies to take major steps to federalize oil and natural gas regulation, with particular focus on hydraulic fracturing. Traditionally, the states have had jurisdiction of energy regulation and, time and time again, have proved themselves more than capable of doing so. From the EPA’s proposed national source performance standards to BLM’s drilling regulations to EPA’s regulatory guidance and studies on hydraulic fracturing rules, IPAA will be keeping a close watch on the administration’s actions in regard to oil and natural gas development.
“In particular, the Endangered Species Act, which the anti-development activists use to try to shut down development of all kinds, is a top priority for IPAA in 2013. Specifically, IPAA will be pushing back against the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken. A listing could threaten oil and natural gas production in resource-rich states, states which have already made special conservation coalitions to protect this species.”