Letters & Comments

Letters and Comments Apr 15, 2020
On Wednesday, April 15, IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell sent a letter to Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell regarding the Main Street Lending Program.
The letter states IPAA “writes to recognize and appreciate the aggressive steps that have been t ken to respond to the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. As federal, state and local governments continue to work on relief measures, such as the CARES Act, we respectfully request that their implementation consistently supports the American energy industry and protects its workforce….
“As the Federal Reserve is guided in its mandate from Congress to promote maximum employment and stable prices, we are pleased to see your efforts to provide assistance to our nation’s small- and midsized businesses, including many of our members, through the Main Street Lending Program.

“IPAA hopes that you are able to implement this program in a manner that recognizes the critical importance of the energy exploration and production businesses and the variance within the industry regarding financing needs. To that end, IPAA would like to provide input to ensure the program is effective in its support for the economy….

“As currently drafted, the Main Street New Loan Facility contains a key provision that may prevent independent natural gas and oil producers from using these facilities to meet their critical economic needs:

‘The Eligible Borrower must commit to refrain from using the proceeds of the Eligible Loan to repay other loan balances. The Eligible Borrower must commit to refrain from repaying other debt of equal or lower priority, with the exception of mandatory principal payments, unless the Eligible Borrower has first repaid the Eligible Loan in full.’
“IPAA asks that you consider providing flexibility on this provision to otherwise Eligible Borrowers, such as independent producers. Just as the American independent producer has revitalized the country after previous economic hardships, the industry will be essential to restarting our economy after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed…”

Infrastructure, Letters and Comments Mar 25, 2020

Dear Mr. President, Governors, Mayors and other local elected officials:

We recognize and appreciate the aggressive steps that are being taken to respond to the threats of the COVID-19 virus. We represent the manufacturers, distributors and supply chain of the products and raw materials that ensure public health and safety during these times of a pandemic. Protecting our workforce, their families and our communities are our top priorities.

Unfortunately, there are well-intentioned actions being taken at the state and local levels that may fundamentally impede or otherwise threaten the supply of critical products. It is imperative that the federal, state and local governments come together with uniform definitions of “critical infrastructure” making clear what manufacturers must continue to operate, as well as take seriously the need to transport those products and have the workforce available to keep operations running. Curfews that do not consider transportation and workforce needs could quickly become significant barriers to not only supply chains, but also actual supplies. Accordingly, we are asking for the following actions to be coordinated in the most expedient fashion:

Letters and Comments Mar 19, 2020

“…IPAA members take species conservation seriously, and actively work to protect the environment and habitats where they operate. Many independent producers have Fish and Wildlife-approved Avian Protection Plans and have spent millions on the conservation of listed and candidate species. Many other industries, such as wind and electric transmission companies, share this commitment, but face legal ramifications due to expanded interpretation of the MBTA. This rule, which affirms the Solicitor’s Opinion, M-37050, is an important step to clarify the legal role of the MBTA to support species protection, while limiting inappropriate legal impacts on otherwise lawful activities from an array of industries.

…”

Infrastructure, Letters and Comments, Regulations Mar 6, 2020

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) submits the following comments regarding CEQ’s Proposed Revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations (85 Federal Register 1684).

Since NEPA’s enactment, the scope of its requirements and application have grown considerably and place a heavy burden on independent oil and natural gas producers operating on federal lands. While the lat itself remains unchanged over the past 50 years, and the regulations remained virtually untouched for the past 40 years, the courts, Presidential directives and agencies’ implementation of the regulations have made NEPA unworkable and far more complicated than the original intent of the law. Modernizing NEPA will help reduced needless delays that hinder American oil and natural gas projects and badly needed infrastructure initiatives across the nation.

CEQ’s proposed changes make critically needed revisions to NEPA’s implementing regulations. These common-sense revisions are long overdue and vitally important…

Letters and Comments Feb 3, 2020

Underpinning the ability to make timely investments in our natural gas delivery system is the Natural Gas Act, which provides a clear road map for how new energy infrastructure is evaluated and built. The consumer and environmental benefits, economic and job growth, and increased national security attributable to natural gas abundance would not have been possible without the Natural Gas Act’s framework for energy infrastructure development.

As Congress examines how energy policy can harness America’s energy abundance, support job creation, advance our nation’s geopolitical priorities and meet pressing environmental challenges, we urge policymakers to recognize the contributions made possible by natural gas infrastructure.

Letters and Comments Nov 25, 2019

Dear Administrator Wheeler:

The following Comments are submitted on the above-referenced proposed rule (Proposed Policy Rulemaking) on behalf of the following national and state trade associations: the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC), Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), Eastern Kansas Oil & Gas Association (EKOGA), Illinois Oil & Gas Association (IOGA), Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, Inc. (IOGA-WV), Indiana Oil and Gas Association (INOGA), International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association (KIOGA), Kentucky Oil & Gas Association (KOGA), Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA), National Stripper Well Association (NSWA), North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC), Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma (The Alliance), Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA), Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (Texas Alliance), Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), and West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) (collectively, Independent Producers). The Independent Producers have participated individually or through the Independent Producers in most, if not all, of the rulemakings and associated litigation since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) proposed to revise the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the Oil and Natural Gas Sector in August 2011. 76 Fed. Reg. 52,738 (Aug. 23, 2011). The Independent Producers support the following aspects of the Proposed Policy Rulemaking:

  • EPA should rescind the methane-specific requirements of the NSPS applicable to sources in the production and processing segments;
  • EPA should remove sources in the transmission and storage segment from the source category and further evaluate how classes within the existing source category are regulated; and
  • EPA should conduct a pollutant specific significant contribution finding before regulating that pollutant from an existing source category.

 

Letters and Comments Nov 25, 2019

Dear Chair Neumayr,

We urge CEQ to issue updates to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations to modernize the Federal environmental review and permitting process with the goal of increasing infrastructure investment and project development in a manner that strengthens our economy and enhances environmental stewardship.

Our organizations represent broad sectors such as agriculture, energy, forestry, manufacturing, and transportation that form the backbone of America’s industrial economy, and we fully support the fundamental goals of NEPA to appropriately consider the potential environmental impacts of certain federal actions. However, CEQ regulations guiding NEPA processes have not been comprehensively updated in nearly four decades. During this time, securing approval for projects and land management decisions has become hampered by unreasonable costs and long project delays. It is time to modernize NEPA processes.

Reducing delays and uncertainties associated with infrastructure investment and related projects has the potential to support more and better-paying jobs throughout the country. Various private and public organizations estimate the creation of up to 13,000 jobs for every $1 billion spent on infrastructure. America’s infrastructure and natural resources — from roads, bridges, airports, railways, airways and waterways to energy and industrial facilities, telecommunications networks, and other public assets — are vital to economic activity, investment, trade, and commerce both domestically and abroad. Recent economic growth has only increased the demand for such infrastructure services and maintenance.

Letters and Comments Oct 21, 2019

Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter provides comments from the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (“AFPM”), the American Exploration and Production Council (“AXPC”), the American Petroleum Institute (“API”), the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (“DEPA”), and the
Independent Petroleum Association of America (“IPAA”) (collectively, “the Associations”), in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s” or “The Agency’s”) Request for Comments on the Agency’s Proposed Rule Updating Regulations for Water Quality Certifications under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or “the Act”). The Associations appreciate EPA’s efforts to provide long overdue updates to the regulations governing water quality certifications as well as the Agency’s commitment to pursue these regulatory reforms through transparent stakeholder engagement.

I. SUMMARY OF COMMENTS

The Associations support EPA’s proposed updates to its regulations governing water quality certifications under Section 401 of the CWA. These changes matter greatly to the Associations and their members. Our members are on the forefront of a transformational era of increased domestic oil and natural gas production. The growth of domestic oil and natural gas production and our ability to responsibly develop these resources in new areas of the country have created the need for more infrastructure to safely bring these resources to consumers, refineries, and processing facilities. For all but the staunchest opponents of any oil and natural gas developments, expanding and updating America’s energy infrastructure is viewed as a prudent investment for the safe and environmentally responsible movement of important resources to areas that need those resources. For those opposed to any oil or natural gas development, America’s energy infrastructure needs are viewed as little more than convenient opportunities to deploy regulatory strategies designed to delay needed projects and sever resources from markets. And increasingly, those regulatory tactics include use of the Section 401 certification process to attempt to delay, constrain, or altogether veto nationally important energy projects.

Letters and Comments Oct 21, 2019

“Dear Administrator Wheeler:

The Natural Gas Council submits this letter in response to the proposed rule published by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) on August 22, 2019, that proposes to update and clarify the substantive and procedural requirements for water quality certification under
Clean Water Act (“CWA”) Section 401. As representatives of the full spectrum of the natural gas industry—producers, suppliers, pipelines and local gas utilities—the members of the Natural Gas Council support EPA’s efforts to restore a level of predictability and balance to the
permitting of natural gas infrastructure. Providing guidance and instruction on the appropriate process by which Section 401 is implemented is critical for the development of natural gas infrastructure.

The United States is the leading natural gas producer in the world. Greater use of natural gas in the United States and abroad, through liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, has yielded tremendous benefits to our economy. One of the central elements in realizing the full value of natural gas produced in the United States is the continued development of a robust natural gas infrastructure along the entire value chain so that natural gas can be delivered wherever and whenever it is needed. The need for new energy infrastructure has never been more important because its development delivers countless opportunities to communities across America. Moving all energy resources safely, affordably, efficiently, and reliably requires a modern and highly interconnected system and delays in permitting projects, such as natural gas infrastructure projects, hinders the advancement of critical infrastructure…”

Letters and Comments Oct 8, 2019

On Tuesday, October 8, IPAA joined a broad coalition of energy infrastructure stakeholders in writing to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging adoption of the new Clean Water Act Section 401 rules. Organized by the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance, letter signers included eight labor unions and 19 trade organizations.

“…We strongly support the Proposed Rule and its provisions that clarify requirements for state and tribal implementation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The Rule is needed to provide clarity, consistency and certainty in the process for certification that energy and other infrastructure construction projects comply with applicable water quality standards.

“In the absence of definitive boundaries, some states have taken advantage of ambiguity in Section 401 to deny certification on grounds outside the Section’s purposes and intent. This has resulted in delay or cancellation of vitally needed energy infrastructure projects that would otherwise have provided consumers and our environment the tremendous benefits of increased access to affordable clean energy.

“For our industries and trades, denial or delay of certification of critical energy infrastructure projects on grounds beyond those intended by the statute has resulted in large-scale loss of work, stranded investments in equipment and materials, and inability of our businesses and workforce to plan for efficient deployment and utilization of both human and capital assets. This has deprived our families, communities and the economy of the very substantial benefits that construction and operation of the affected projects would otherwise have driven…”

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.