Letters & Comments

Letters and Comments Feb 27, 2023

These comments are submitted to address proposed changes to the adoption and submittal of state plans implementing regulations under Clean Air Act (“CAA”) Section 111(d), 42 U.S. Code § 7411. The proposed changes would revise 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart Ba (“Subpart Ba”). The generic modifications to Subpart Ba are integrally related to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) proposed Subpart OOOOc which would create Emissions Guidelines (“EG”) for the oil and natural gas production industry. While the Subpart OOOOc proposal contains specific provisions regarding the application of Section 111(d), these generic changes to Subpart Ba would apply where Subpart OOOOc does not provide specific overrides. Moreover, the Producer Associations believe the concepts included in both proposals create broader issues that need to be addressed.

Letters and Comments Feb 27, 2023

As organizations representing a broad range of sectors from agriculture, energy, transportation infrastructure, construction and real estate, manufacturing, mining, recreation, chemical production, state departments of agriculture, and many other job creators, we urge support for the Congressional Review Act resolutions of disapproval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) 2023 revised Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation.

Every sector of the U.S. economy – from small businesses and farmers, to manufacturers and homebuilders – depends on a clear, predictable, and transparent WOTUS rule so they can protect the environment, operate with certainty, and create jobs in their communities. Continual revisions, remands, and reintroductions of WOTUS definitions only sow confusion and ultimately dissuade future investment.

The Congressional Review Act provides an important oversight tool for Congress to ensure that agency rules are consistent with Congressional intent and authority. The new definition of WOTUS exceeds Congressional authority in multiple respects, ignores recent Supreme Court caselaw interpreting the Clean Water Act, and will be impossible to implement consistently in the field…

Letters and Comments, Uncategorized Feb 23, 2023

On February 23, IPAA submitted comments on the Proposed Hazardous Air Pollutants Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OGC-2023-0028.

Dear Administrator Regan:

The following Comments on the proposed consent decree referenced above (“Proposed CD”) are submitted on behalf of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (“IPAA”). IPAA has been actively involved in the rulemaking process for the new source performance standards (“NSPS”) and national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (“NESHAP”) as originally proposed on August 23, 2011. IPAA supported the effort to bifurcate the proposed NSPS rule and the proposed NESHAP rule which was ultimately granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, No. 121405. Said decision held the NESHAP rulemaking in abeyance and required EPA to provide the court and parties periodic updates which IPAA has received. The Proposed CD is a function of the typical “sue and settle” approach taken by many environmental organizations. …

Letters and Comments Feb 13, 2023

Various members of the Producer Associations have been actively working with the Environmental Protection Agency since the New Source Performance Standards, 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOO regulations were proposed in 2011. The Producer Associations appreciate the time and effort of EPA staff that have tried to understand the unique aspects of the oil and natural gas industry. The reality is that the unique aspects of the Oil and Gas Industry, in terms of its production and related emissions, render EPA’s traditional justifications/rationalizations proffered in the proposals on November 15, 2021 and December 6, 2022 arbitrary and capricious for certain subcategories (whether defined according to EPA or otherwise). The message the Producer Associations have consistently conveyed since 2011 is “one size does not fit all.” Generally speaking, EPA’s response has been to regulate exploration and production (“E&P”) emission sources to the extent that EPA believes it can “survive”/continue to exist – that is not the “best system of emission reduction” (“BSER”) as required by Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). The following comments are intended to identify the most detrimental and unsupported proposals by EPA and provide alternatives that provide the equivalent or nearly the equivalent environmental benefits as substantially less cost and confusion to the Oil and Gas Industry, in particular the small business that are disproportionally impacted by these proposed regulations. …

The Producer Associations are committed to working with EPA to craft legally justified regulations that protect the environment and do not place unnecessary burdens on the Oil and Gas Industry. The Producer Associations provide the following summary:

  • Fugitive Emissions Monitoring of “Low Production Wells” Misses the Mark.
  • EPA Utilizes Inaccurate Data to Justify “Zero-Emitting” BSER for Pneumatic Controllers and Pumps.
  • The Super-Emitter Response Program Should be Revised to Address Unexpected Significant Releases, Without Subjecting Owners/Operators to Significant Expense.

Letters and Comments Jan 30, 2023

Dear Director Stone Manning:

Western Energy Alliance (the Alliance) and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)  (collectively the Trades) appreciate the opportunity to provide these comments on the Bureau of Land  Management’s (BLM) proposed rule titled Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and  Resource Conservation (Proposed Waste Prevention Rule or Proposed Rule).

Our comments summarize the historical and legal framework of BLM’s waste prevention rules, followed by targeted revisions to selected sections of the proposed regulatory language and a description of our  legal concerns with BLM’s proposal.

The Proposed Waste Prevention Rule is an update to BLM’s 2016 rule revisions (2016 Rule) which were  struck down by a Wyoming federal court, and BLM’s 2018 rule revisions (2018 Rule), which were also  struck down by another federal court. While the Trades appreciate that BLM’s current proposal  addresses a number of the Wyoming court’s reasons for vacating the 2016 Rule, there remain some  foundational concerns that must be addressed.

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…

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.