Letters & Comments

Letters and Comments Jan 10, 2023

These comments are filed on behalf of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). … The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened this docket for the purpose of receiving comments on its legislatively imposed Methane Emissions Reduction Program (Methane Tax). EPA describes this program as follows:

EPA received $1.55 billion to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by providing financial assistance (grants, rebates, contracts, loans, and other activities) and technical assistance as well as implementing a statutorily required waste emissions charge. Eligible recipients for these funds include but are not limited to air pollution control agencies, other public or nonprofit private agencies, institutions, and organizations, and individuals. The program specifies that at least $700 million must be used for activities at marginal conventional wells. Section 60113 also requires EPA to implement a waste emission charge on methane emitted from applicable oil and gas facilities that emit over 25,000 metric tons of CO2e and that exceed statutorily specified waste emissions thresholds beginning in 2024. The waste emissions charge will start at $900 and increase to $1,500 per metric ton.

The format for these comments is laid out in a series of questions. IPAA is providing information on several of those questions.

However, before addressing individual issues, it is pertinent to address some overarching aspects of this program. While these questions largely address the distribution of various authorized funds for enumerated purposes, this program also authorizes EPA to use any authorized funds for the implementation of the program. The magnitude of these costs is currently unknown, but since it can include the development of emissions reporting tools, the auditing of all submissions of both emissions and taxes, the levying and collection of penalties and whatever else may fall under the scope of the program, these costs may be substantial.

Additionally, EPA is given the authority to “issue guidance or regulations as necessary to carry out this section.” This is an important and significant authority that EPA must use judiciously. This program presents the worst situation for regulatory development: legislative language with no legislative history. There are no committee reports, no conference report, not even floor statements during the debate on the legislation. Significant terms in the provisions are not defined. Now, EPA must issue clear and comprehensive regulations to assure that the program is carried out effectively and fairly. …

Letters and Comments Dec 8, 2022

“Dear Leader McCarthy:

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) looks forward to working with you during the 118th Congress. IPAA represents thousands of Americas independent oil and natural gas producers.  Our members are the primary producers of the nation’s oil and natural gas and account for 83 percent of America’s oil production and 90 percent of its natural gas output.  Independent American producers are a driving force in our economy and support millions of jobs in the United States.  IPAA member companies are innovative leaders who broke the code to usher in the shale oil and natural gas revolution in the United States. …

“Enclosed are several issues we believe are key to helping the United States remain at the forefront of energy development in the coming years.”

The letter goes on to detail the association’s stance on:

  • Tax policy
  • Methane
  • Energy infrastructure
  • Access to federal lands and waters
  • Crude oil releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Endangered and threatened species
  • Access to capital markets

The letter closes:

“America’s independent oil and natural gas producers stand at the forefront of energy use and development in the coming years.  We look forward to working with you and your colleagues to develop innovative solutions to address America’s energy challenges in the coming years.”

Letters and Comments Dec 1, 2022

The undersigned organizations appreciate the opportunity to provide input into the selection of the candidates for the peer review panel that will undertake an external review of the draft “Report on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases: Estimates Incorporating Recent Scientific Advances.” Our comments focus on ensuring integrity in the selection of the reviewers and pursuing public input on the development of the charge questions for the review.

The social cost of greenhouse gases (SC-GHG) estimates have been applied to multiple federal regulations, among other actions, that amount to hundreds of billions of dollars in estimated climate benefits, along with significant costs. For this reason, the business community has a direct and substantial interest in ensuring that any SC-GHG estimates that are used in agency rulemakings are the product of a sound, transparent, and inclusive process. …

Letters and Comments Oct 6, 2022

 These comments are filed on behalf of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). IPAA represents the thousands of independent oil and natural gas explorers and producers, as well as the service and supply industries that support their efforts, that will be significantly affected by the actions resulting from this regulatory proposal.

 These IPAA comments will focus on Subpart W for two main reasons. First, it is the Subpart that has the greatest impact on oil and natural gas production. Second, the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) fundamentally changed the role of Subpart W emissions factors (EF). Subpart W EF are no longer emissions estimates that can be debated regarding their accuracy; they will be “taxable events” subject to audits, enforcement actions and fines under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Given the history of issues over the accuracy of Subpart W EF, the IRA makes a profound change.

Letters and Comments Oct 4, 2022

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Interior Department’s 2023-2028 “Proposed Program” for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program). IPAA is the national trade association representing the thousands of independent crude oil and natural gas explorers and producers in the United States. Our members operate both onshore on federal, state, and private lands as well as offshore in the OCS and Alaska. IPAA also operates in close cooperation with forty-four unaffiliated independent national, state, and regional associations, which together represent thousands of royalty owners and the companies that provide services and supplies to the domestic industry. IPAA is dedicated to ensuring a strong and viable domestic oil and natural gas industry, recognizing that an adequate and secure supply of energy developed in an environmentally responsible manner is essential to the national economy.

On Friday, July 1, 2022, the Interior Department released its 2023-2028 “Proposed Program” for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program). While the release of the Proposed Program was welcome after many months of delay, our nation is still left in the unfortunate position of facing a substantial gap between National OCS Programs for the first time since issuing programs were required in the early 1980s.

Perhaps the most concerning part of the Proposed Program is the fact that the proposal leaves open the possibility of scheduling no lease sales from 2023 to 2028. Simply put, a National OCS Program devoid of lease sales would be a significant blow for the country’s energy future and security needs. In addition, scheduling no lease sales would not satisfy the requirements of the OCS Lands Act.  At a time when the nation is suffering from skyrocketing energy prices and is increasingly turning to foreign nations to supply our energy needs, scheduling zero offshore lease sales for the next five years would be a devastating blow to the U.S. energy industry and do irreparable harm…

Letters and Comments Sep 7, 2022

The undersigned organizations write to express our concerns with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10’s 2022 Proposed Determination to prohibit and restrict the use of certain waters within defined areas as disposal sites within the Pebble Deposit Area under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

We represent a large and diverse cross-section of America’s construction, home building, mining, manufacturing, and energy sectors, as well as the broader business community. Our members are vital to building a thriving national economy and are essential to achieving the Biden administration’s ambitious climate, infrastructure, supply chain, transportation, and energy goals. Our members create much needed and well-paying jobs in communities across the country, including in Tribal communities and communities with environmental justice concerns. Fair, consistent, and predictable permitting processes are essential for our members to conduct these activities. If finalized as proposed, EPA’s preemptive veto of the Pebble Project in Alaska will set harmful precedent and create significant regulatory uncertainty for the business community.

We therefore urge EPA to withdraw the proposed determination to allow the Pebble Project to move through the established regulatory process. We also offer the following comments…

Letters and Comments Aug 15, 2022

Dear Chairman Behnam:

…Over the past 20 years, Russia has moved aggressively to link Europe’s economy to Russia’s natural gas. Russia’s war with Ukraine creates wide ranging international issues regarding natural gas. Clearly, one of these issues is volatility in the natural gas markets both in Europe and the United States. Significantly, it also gives Russia, Gazprom or their agents the possibility to utilize “perfect information” to manipulate the markets for energy commodities in both the United States and Europe.

Hopefully, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is already investigating this possibility. If so, IPAA would like to know that is the case and, if not, IPAA strongly encourages the CFTC to begin an investigation under its granted authorization.

Specifically, IPAA is concerned about the following four items/issues:

  1. Excessive speculation
  2. Market manipulation, squeezes and corners
  3. Market liquidity for bona fide hedgers
  4. Price discovery disruption

IPAA would also like to know if there is any joint investigation with the CFTC’s counterparts in Europe, such as the European Commission. …

Letters and Comments Aug 11, 2022

IPAA joined with API and nearly 60 other trade groups representing America’s natural gas and oil industry in opposing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as passed by the Senate. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the organizations outline problematic provisions, including punitive new taxes and regulatory red tape that undermine the industry’s ability to promote energy security for the American consumer.“We share the goal of addressing climate change, as evidenced in the policies we support and in the actions that we take every day,” the letter states. “However, the considerable tax increases and new government spending in the IRA amount to the wrong policies at the wrong time.”The letter further cites the absence of comprehensive of permitting reform legislation, which is required to advance America’s infrastructure needs and meet growing demand for affordable and reliable energy.“Finally, the IRA fails to address permitting reform, which is desperately needed and is essential to effectively deliver affordable, reliable energy to consumers in a growing economy,” the signatories wrote. “To date, neither the House nor the Senate have introduced comprehensive permitting reform legislation. We urge Congress to quickly consider and pass permitting reform without delay.”

Letters and Comments Aug 9, 2022

With the Senate having passed H.R. 5376 this past weekend, our industry again wishes to express our sincere concerns with several of the provisions included in the bill. These concerns are nothing new as we have been discussing various provisions in legislative initiatives since the beginning of the Congress.

We collectively represent most of the small and mid-sized exploration and production industry and the millions of workers in the United States. With that in mind, we request your consideration of the negative impacts this bill will have on the oil and gas industry as well as our consumers, the manufacturers who rely on us, the agriculture industry, and the transportation industry. In short – this bill will exacerbate supply concerns at a time of high crude and gasoline prices.

Letters and Comments Aug 8, 2022

This letter provides comments in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s  proposed rule revising and replacing the Agency’s 2020 Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification regulations1 (“2020 Rule”). As explained in more detail below, the 2020 Rule provided long-overdue clarification on the role of states and other certifying authorities under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or “the Act”). The proposed rule would eliminate the clarity and consistency that the 2020 Rule afforded project proponents and certifying authorities alike, while needlessly delaying nationally important projects or critical infrastructure such as those to modernize our nation’s means of generating and transporting energy, as well as our commitment to directing investment to the infrastructure needs of underserved communities.

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.