Letters & Comments

Letters and Comments Aug 7, 2023

Ms. Spence,

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) respectfully requests an extension to the deadline for the comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled Risk Management and Financial Assurance for OCS Lease and Grant Obligations (RIN 1010-AE14) (the “Proposed Rule”) to 120 days. IPAA is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States that operate both onshore and offshore. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs.

IPAA is concerned about the Proposed Rule’s significant changes to the financial assurance regime to secure decommissioning obligations for the offshore oil and gas industry. We believe the comment period to reply to the Proposed Rule is too short. The window given is not enough time to analyze, digest, and provide substantive comments on a Proposed Rule of this magnitude that will impose substantial additional bonding requirements on independent offshore oil and gas producers. Most of our offshore producers classify as small businesses under the Small Business Administration’s definition and the resources necessary to devote to fully realize the regulatory and financial component of this rule will take time. Simply put, independent offshore oil and gas companies, which produce approximately 35 percent of the oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico and employ thousands of employees across the nation, need more than 60 days to evaluate the consequences of this significant rule.

BOEM should extend the public comment period to 120 days to allow for a more detailed and fulsome public record on the workability and consequences of such a significant rule.

Letters and Comments Aug 7, 2023

Subject: Comment Deadline Extension Request for Docket Id. No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2023-0234, Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule: Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems, and a Request for a Public Hearing that includes a Presentation on the Proposed Changes

Dear Mr. Regan:

The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance (collectively referred to as the Trades) request the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extend the public comment period by an additional 60-days for Docket Id. No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2023-0234, Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule: Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems (Proposed Rule). In addition, we request EPA conduct a public hearing that includes a presentation on the proposed changes.

The Proposed Rule was published in the Federal Register on August 1, with a comment deadline of October 2. This Proposed Rule includes 160 pages of text along with 136 supporting documents that encompass hundreds if not thousands of pages of supporting material. The Trades do not think the 60-day comment period is adequate to fully review the Proposed Rule and supporting material and provide meaningful comments on such a short timeline.

EPA currently has three proposed Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rules (GHGRRs) that have not been finalized: EPA’s initial proposed GHGRR (87 Fed. Reg. 36920, June 21, 2022), the Supplemental Proposed Rule (88 Fed. Reg. 32852, May 22, 2022) and this Proposed Rule for Subpart W for the petroleum and natural gas systems. In addition, EPA’s proposed New Source Performance Standards for new and existing oil and gas sources (NSPS b/c), integral to the GHGRRs, are still not finalized, adding an additional level of complexity to the review process of the Proposed Rule. Taken together, these proposed rules are expansive and provide significant uncertainty as to how they collectively build upon and/or function together. The Trade’s members need the additional 60-day review time to carefully review the Proposed Rule in context with the other proposed rules to better understand the cumulative costs impacts and requirements in order to provide fully informed comments. …

Letters and Comments, Offshore Aug 1, 2023

Dear Mr. President:

The undersigned trade associations, representing every aspect of the American offshore oil and natural gas industry, strongly urge the Biden Administration to finalize a new National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (five-year leasing program) that includes the 11 lease sales proposed in the Proposed Program released on July 1, 2022, and to begin pre-leasing work now so that the Interior Department can start holding sales in 2024 without any additional delays.

U.S. offshore oil and natural gas production is fast approaching yet another period of extended uncertainty that could negatively impact American energy security. Though the administration has committed to issuing a new five-year offshore leasing program by the end of September, it already is a year and a half late because the previous program expired in June 2022. Additionally, the Proposed Program includes an unworkable option to hold zero lease sales.

Time is running out to avoid significant consequences that could result from a prolonged gap in federal offshore leasing and production in the years ahead. The last sale mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Lease Sale 261, is scheduled for September 27, so even if the administration’s finalized program includes new sales, the ability to hold a sale in 2024 grows harder every day unless pre-leasing steps are taken now. …

Letters and Comments Jul 25, 2023

Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) – representing 45 organizations that reflect a broad cross-section of small businesses, farmers, energy producers and job creators – in a letter on Monday urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carefully reconsider key interpretations in the 2023 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule as the agencies revise the rule to align with the Supreme Court’s opinion in Sackett v. EPA.

In their letter, WAC members wrote,“EPA and the Corps have stated that they intend to issue a final rule by September 1, 2023 that amends the Biden WOTUS Rule to ensure consistency with the decision in Sackett. Based on this truncated rulemaking timeline, it appears that the Agencies will forego public comment and simply strike language from the rule related to the significant nexus test as well as the definition of ‘adjacent,’ while reinforcing the Agencies’ interpretation of the ‘relatively permanent’ test set forth in the preamble. That is not a defensible response to Sackett or an appropriate approach to this rulemaking.”

The letter outlines the coalition’s key recommendations for the agencies as they revise the 2023 WOTUS rule, which include:

  • Eliminating standalone interstate waters and wetlands;
  • Adopting a relatively permanent standard consistent with Supreme Court precedent; excluding ditches,
  • Clarifying the rule’s definition of adjacent in accordance with Sackett; and
  • Retaining the rule’s codified exclusions.

Letters and Comments Jul 21, 2023

Dear Ms. Bohman:

The American Petroleum Institute, the American Exploration & Production Council, Independent Petroleum Association of America, The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, and the Offshore Operators Committee (collectively “Industry Trades”) appreciate the opportunity to offer comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed “Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Data Elements under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule” (proposed on May 22, 2023). With this submittal, the Industry Trades seek to continue our participation in the rulemaking process as a collaborative stakeholder by providing meaningful solutions to address EPA’s goals while addressing the burden of data collection (and identifying potential unintended consequences) that could result if the rulemaking is finalized as proposed.

We have participated as key collaborative stakeholders throughout the process of developing the EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) by contributing expertise and proposing solutions that address EPA’s policy goals while reflecting the reality of the industry and its evolving day-to-day operating practices. The Industry Trades have directed our efforts toward seeking a balance between the burden of data collection and reporting, the need to protect sensitive information and ensure that reporting requirements are placed on the correct reporters, and the need for providing the highest quality data that will help inform decision makers and the public.

These comments reflect our continued interest in the evolution of the GHGRP to provide an accurate accounting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from facilities across the full value chain of the oil and natural gas industry. Our comments cover concerns and recommendations in the wide range of sectors that relate to the operations of our collective members. …

Letters and Comments Jul 21, 2023

“These IPAA comments will focus on proposed Subpart B (Energy Consumption). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) argues that its initiation of Subpart B is:

…to improve the completeness of the data collected under the GHGRP, add to the EPA’s understanding of GHG data, and to better inform future EPA policy under the CAA, such as informing potential future EPA actions with respect to GHGs. Once collected, such data would also be available to improve on the estimates provided in the Inventory, by providing more information on the allocation of electricity use to different end use sectors.

In fact, it does not collect information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Instead, it requires operators to collect and submit information on the electricity and thermal energy used. Not only does this new Subpart effectively make these operators meter readers, it also misdirects their resources to obtain information far more readily available from electricity and thermal energy suppliers. From IPAA’s perspective it does not provide GHG emissions information because, for example, the electric energy source could be composited from numerous types of generation options. …”

In addition to the specific comments made herein, IPAA has joined comments submitted separately by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Letters and Comments Jul 5, 2023

Dear Director Stone-Manning:

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) Conservation and Landscape Health Proposed Rule (“Proposed Rule”). The undersigned organizations (collectively, the “Coalition”) include businesses in many areas of the broader economy, including energy, mining, grazing, and other community stakeholders that are impacted by this Proposed Rule. …

We are dedicated to ensuring that wise and lawful management practices are followed so that current and future generations may use and appreciate the natural resources with which America has been richly endowed. Our organizations and the companies and members we represent have a business presence across the country and a unique perspective on the importance and use of our public lands. Our members rely on access to public lands managed by BLM to conduct their operations and to serve their communities. Indeed, the broader business community across America depends on reliable, affordable, domestic energy and natural resources that are delivered from and across public lands to make and transport their products. As can be too often forgotten, businesses are made up of people, and hardworking Americans who live near, work on, and recreate on our public lands would be adversely affected by these proposed conservation and landscape health measures if the concerns raised in this letter are not carefully addressed. The Coalition shares the laudable goal of conserving and restoring our public lands; however, at the same time, the Coalition is concerned that the Proposed Rule exceeds BLM’s statutory authorities and conflicts with congressional directives.

With this perspective in mind, the Coalition urges BLM to reconsider the Proposed Rule. There are many ways to conduct the lawful conservation and the wise management of our country’s natural resources through appropriate actions taken pursuant to lawful authorities, including congressional actions to designate national parks, agency recommendations to Congress for additional wilderness areas, and use of Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) funds for conservation efforts. But BLM’s Proposed Rule is both misguided policy and legally problematic, including for the following reasons…

Letters and Comments Jun 27, 2023

To the leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso, the Natural Gas Council wrote in support of key provisions in S. 1456, the Spur Permitting of Underdeveloped Resources (SPUR) Act, which would restore predictability and balance to the permitting of natural gas infrastructure. The letter reads that the groups “believe additional changes to our nation’s permitting statutes are still needed to address the fact that current processes to site and approve new and expanded natural gas infrastructure remain slow, inefficient, and overly litigated. These ongoing challenges continue to discourage private sector investment, delay critical projects, and undermine the value of taxpayer investments.”

Letters and Comments, Uncategorized Jun 27, 2023

To the leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Capito, the Natural Gas Council wrote in support of S. 1449, the Revitalizing the Economy by Simplifying Timelines and Assuring Regulatory Transparency (RESTART) Act. The RESTART Act would streamline the agency review process with enforceable timelines, set limits to prevent frivolous legal challenges, and modernize current laws while preserving environmental protections.

Letters and Comments Jun 15, 2023

Dear Chairman Westerman,

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) writes in support of H.R. 3397 (Rep. Curtis), a bill to require the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to withdraw a rule of the BLM relating to conservation and landscape health. IPAA is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 91 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 83 percent of America’s oil production, 90 percent of its natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) production, and support over 4.5 million American jobs.

IPAA is pleased to support H.R. 3397 as it aims to withdraw the misguided rule that is currently being proposed by BLM. IPAA believes the proposed rule is a gross overreach of BLM’s directive and violates the statutory authority given to BLM under the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act of 1976 as well as misaligning with the Congressional intent in creating and delegating powers to the BLM. H.R. 3397 goes far in reiterating the intent of Congress to clear any ambiguity for further regulations. …

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.