IPAA Urges Passage of Interior Appropriations Legislation in Letter to House Leadership

IPAA Urges Passage of Interior Appropriations Legislation in Letter to House Leadership

IPAA: Interior Dept. funding bill “helps the nation move forward with developing more American oil, natural gas”

WASHINGTON, DC – Barry Russell — president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) — sent the following letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), urging support for H.R. 2584, a bill currently under consideration in the U.S. House to provide fiscal year 2012 funding for the Interior Department and related agencies. The legislation seeks to streamline the regulatory process for offshore American oil and natural gas production, and Russell writes that “A healthy offshore industry translates into jobs and economic growth as well.” A PDF of the letter is available HERE.

July 25, 2011
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker
United States House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I am writing to express the support of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) for H.R. 2584 the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The IPAA believes H.R. 2584 addresses a number of issues that are important to its members and helps the nation move forward with developing more American oil and natural gas.

Although IPAA realizes the nation’s fiscal situation makes it very difficult to fund every program, IPAA commends the Appropriations Committee for providing additional resources for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). These additional resources will allow the agency to hire new inspectors for offshore energy production and increase permitting and leasing activities in the Gulf of Mexico. Independent oil and natural gas producers operating in offshore areas have faced a difficult challenge in securing the proper permits and leasing approvals since the Deepwater Horizon incident occurred last April. Independent producers stand ready to aggressively drill and explore in the Gulf of Mexico if the proper permits and leases from the BOEMRE are granted. The additional resources for the agency outlined in H.R. 2584 will help producers achieve that goal.

A healthy offshore industry translates into jobs and economic growth as well. An analysis by IHS Global Insight of the economic contribution to the Gulf States from offshore oil and natural gas development in the Gulf of Mexico shows that independent oil and natural gas companies account for about half of the nearly 400,000 jobs; $70 billion in economic values; and $20 billion in federal, state, and local revenue generated by the industry in 2009.

IPAA also strongly supports efforts to stop the Obama Administration’s plans to raise onshore and offshore permitting and leasing fees. America’s independent oil and natural gas producers are an active and vibrant part of our nation’s economy. IPAA’s members are small business operators that on average employ only 11 workers. Forcing these small businesses operating on federal lands to pay additional fees for permit and leasing activities will only serve to limit economic growth and job creation.

The Appropriations Committee has also taken a bold step to address a number of regulatory issues in this legislation that hamper American energy security. From the unprecedented use of the Endangered Species Act to efforts that would add additional air permit activities on offshore producers to restructuring the scope of the Clean Water Act, the Obama Administration continues to take actions that will stifle job creation and economic growth in the nation. America’s independent oil and natural gas producers are committed to protecting the environment and operating in a safe and responsible manner. However, as additional regulatory burdens continue to be placed on these small businesses, it becomes increasingly more difficult to do these jobs and produce the oil and natural gas, which are so important to the national economy.

Independent natural gas and oil producers drill 95 percent of the nation’s wells and are responsible for more than 4 million associated jobs. The independents’ upstream business ecosystem (onshore alone) contributed $320.6 billion (2.2%) of U.S. gross domestic product in 2010. If onshore independents’ business ecosystem were a state, it would rank #15 in the nation.

It is for these reasons IPAA urges the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 2584 and looks forward to working with you as this legislation is sent to the Senate.

Sincerely,

Barry Russell
President and CEO

cc: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

 

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