Letters & Comments

Letters and Comments Dec 29, 2020

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) solicits comments on issues related to the fair access to financial services related to potential actions taken by the largest banks that might categorically exclude certain sectors or industries from access to the capital they need to develop their businesses. …

Unfortunately, for the past several years, America’s essential oil and natural gas production industry has become a target for several “Keep It in the Ground” environmentalist lobbying operations. These organizations have turned from their historic regulatory focus to a broader arena of actions including attacking capital sources.

Letters and Comments, Offshore Dec 14, 2020

This week, IPAA submitted formal comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) rulemaking regarding offshore company financial assurance and bonding. While IPAA represents member companies that advocated for differing interests with this rule, we are ultimately glad to see the Administration try to offer solutions to the current system, which all Member companies agree is broken. Furthermore, we commend the Administration for going through the proper regulatory channels to propose this rule.

Letters and Comments, Offshore Dec 11, 2020

IPAA signed a National Ocean Policy Coalition-led letter to President-elect Biden requesting support for collaborative, transparent, and balanced multi-use ocean policies that support economic and environmental goals and help achieve mutual desires for greater economic prosperity and job creation.

The letter was signed by 70 groups representing a wide array of commercial and recreational interests from across the United States.

Letters and Comments, Offshore Dec 8, 2020
IPAA joined numerous offshore trade associations in supporting the Conservation Funding Protection Act, which aims to provide much needed certainty to help maintain robust domestic energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and shore up conservation programs. The bill was introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Enacting the Conservation Funding Protection Act is an important step in meeting our national goals of economic recovery, supporting national fiscal health, and supporting national security and national environmental objectives. In this letter to House and Senate leadership, the offshore trades called attention to the bill and urged enactment as Congress wraps up negotiations on legislation to meet our nation’s critical needs during this trying time.

Letters and Comments Nov 30, 2020

IPAA submitted comments to the record for the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) proposed rules on royalty valuation and civil penalties. The Obama Administration arbitrarily changed the rules during its tenure to impose unreasonable civil penalties and even went so far as to penalize operators for failure to disclose information that could not be known. This broad overreach could cost IPAA members hundreds of millions of dollars. For this reason, IPAA has long sought to see a rule change that would reign in accounting practices and limit fines to instances which could have been known.

Infrastructure, Letters and Comments Nov 19, 2020

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Schumer:

The undersigned organizations represent a broad constituency of industries, companies, and labor unions who build and provide equipment, materials, supplies, services and human capital to energy infrastructure projects. Our broad group relies on that infrastructure to produce and deliver the energy that powers America.

We ask you to schedule floor votes as soon as possible to confirm new commissioners to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to fill current vacancies. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee recently cleared both a Republican and a Democratic nominee with bipartisan support, and their nominations now await a vote by the full Senate.

FERC plays a critical role in ensuring that Americans have access to reliable and affordable energy. The Commission reviews and permits certain new interstate infrastructure projects and expansions intended to modernize existing energy transportation systems. FERC also reviews and approves rates and services for interstate energy infrastructure companies. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of affordable and reliable energy, and energy infrastructure will play an essential role in supporting America’s economic recovery…

Infrastructure, Letters and Comments Nov 16, 2020

We embrace our responsibility to protect the planet, build inclusive communities and grow a sustainable, strong economy that is powered by a diverse energy and manufacturing portfolio, unmatched by any other nation in the world. Building modern, resilient infrastructure through innovation and responsible development has long been a priority. We have established a strong record in environmental protection and economic development which is why we, the undersigned organizations, submit the following comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) in support of the proposed rule to “Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permits.”

Our members have a substantial and direct interest in the outcome of this rulemaking and are calling for smart regulations that protect the environment, create jobs, drive innovation and ensure a better quality of life for everyone. To accomplish these goals, regulations governing our nation’s land, water and infrastructure must be designed with the utmost care to ensure that regulations are effective in achieving their desired objectives, while simultaneously avoiding unnecessary environmental, social and economic impacts. A strong nationwide permitting program will continue to ensure that our nation can prosper and grow sustainably and responsibly.

Infrastructure, Letters and Comments Nov 16, 2020

The Waters Advocacy Coalition (“WAC” or “Coalition”) offers the following comments on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) Proposal to Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permits, 85 Fed. Reg. 57,298 (Sept. 15, 2020). WAC represents a large cross-section of America’s construction, transportation, real estate, mining, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, energy, wildlife conservation, and public health and safety sectors—all of which are vital to a thriving economy and provide much-needed jobs.1 WAC members’ activities, projects, and operations are often subject to regulation under Clean Water Act (“CWA”) section 404, 33 U.S.C. § 1344, and Coalition members frequently rely on nationwide permits (“NWPs”) to comply with the CWA. WAC’s comments on the Corps’ proposal are limited to ensuring consistency between the NWPs and the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (“NWPR”) that the Corps and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized earlier this year.

I. The Coalition Supports the NWP Program, Which Furthers Congress’s Intent to Allow the Corps to Focus Its Limited Resources on Activities Resulting in More than Minimal Impacts.

II. The Corps Should Clarify Certain Definitions and Concepts Related to the NWPR.

III. The Proposed Revision to General Condition 23 (Mitigation) Is Not Necessary to Ensure No More than Minimal Adverse Impacts.

IV . Conclusion

WAC appreciates the opportunity to submit these comments. Subject to the requested clarifications above, WAC generally supports the Corps’ proposal to reissue NWPs, which would continue to carry out Congress’s intent to allow more streamlined section 404 permitting for activities that have minimal adverse environmental effects. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the undersigned.

Infrastructure, Letters and Comments Nov 16, 2020

“The Associations” together represent a broad spectrum of the oil and natural gas industry, including but not limited to entities involved In upstream, midstream, downstream refining, marketing, and petrochemical operations as well as market development/Liquified Natural Gas (“LNG”) activities. We are pleased to submit comments on the proposal to reissue and modify Nationwide Permits (“NWPs”) (“Proposal”) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”).

Our comments represent a thorough assessment of the NWPs significant to our industry, as well as a comprehensive review of over 40 states’ regional conditions. Our comments contain extensive citations to the current proposal, applicable statutes and regulations, relevant case law, and an annex encompassing our District submissions regarding the proposed regional conditions in 44 states and 2 U.S. territories. To aid review, we have included a concise Executive Summary, as well as a Table of Contents with helpful headings.

While we support the NWP program as essential to the U.S. economy and a strong motivator for developers to design projects In a way that reduces environmental impacts, we regrettably cannot support the proposed division of NWP 12 Into three separate permits. The proposed division contains multiple fundamental definitional issues that will certainly confuse both applicants and USACE staff. Moreover, the varying conditions in the federal proposal and multiple USACE Districts validate this confusion, and could be vulnerable to arbitrary and capriciousness challenges because the same 12-inch pipe (with similar and often indistinguishable impacts to aquatic resources within the USACE’s jurisdiction) would be treated differently based solely on the contents of that pipe (which is outside the jurisdiction of the USACE). Finally, the economics support a single combined permit – as the USACE’s proposal Identified no cost savings from the division and seems to have significantly underestimated the costs associated with implementing a division based on ambiguous definitions and a lack of clarity among districts as well as even among individual states within districts. We therefore believe the most expeditious route for the USACE to address these deficiencies is to simply reissue the 2017 version of NWP 12 for all utility lines with a new effective date, and we urge the USACE to do so without delay.

Infrastructure, Letters and Comments Nov 16, 2020

IPAA submitted supplemental comments to the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on November 16 in response to PHMSA’s Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) discussion of proposed regulatory reform, which included regulation of farm taps. Submitting as “Indicated Producers,” IPAA was joined by the Kentucky Oil & Gas Association, the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, the Virginia Oil and Gas Association, and the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia.

In the comments, the Indicated Producers noted “support [for] PHMSA in its efforts to align regulatory responsibilities with the safe operation of pipeline facilities. However, Indicated Producers urge PHMSA to recognize the significant differences between privately-owned farm taps, governed by contract or statute, and true distribution systems.”  The comments urged PHMSA to make that distinction in pending Frequently Asked Questions, in future proceedings, or in the pending Regulatory Reform rule. Recognizing this significant distinction “will help achieve regulatory reform without interfering with existing contracts and/or state statutes and will better align regulatory responsibility without sacrificing public safety.”

IPAA is the industry's strongest presence in the nation's capital and these are important times. The entire oil and gas industry remains under fire from anti-development groups; but with these challenges arise unique opportunities that IPAA is seizing for our members.