Letters & Comments

Letters and Comments, Uncategorized Jun 5, 2023

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 the most significantly affected by the actions resulting from this regulatory proposal. Independent producers drill about 91 percent of American oil and gas wells, produce 83 percent of American oil, and produce 90 percent of American natural gas.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened this comment center 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 provides information
on several of those questions…

Letters and Comments, Uncategorized Apr 10, 2023

Dear Chair Mallory:

The Natural Gas Council, on behalf of the people and companies who produce, transport, and deliver U.S. natural gas across this country and around the world, urges you to withdraw the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change, 88 Fed. Reg. 1,196 (Jan. 9, 2023) (“Guidance”).

The Guidance inappropriately transforms NEPA into a tool that promotes use of certain types of energy and obstructs use of other types. The Guidance establishes a “two track” approach to NEPA review that (1) deters development of natural gas production and infrastructure by adding unduly burdensome requirements to the NEPA review of natural gas projects and (2) expedites review of wind and solar projects by exempting those projects from the requirements imposed on natural gas production and infrastructure. This disparate treatment is not grounded in law or fact, but instead appears to reflect a mistaken belief that natural gas inexorably impedes efforts to address climate change and that the federal government must discourage natural gas production and infrastructure development to successfully address climate change.

Natural gas is not an obstacle to the clean energy transition; it is an essential component of that transition. Since 2005, carbon dioxide emissions in the electric power sector have declined by about 35 percent, with a switch from coal to natural gas accounting for about two-thirds of the decline. …

Letters and Comments Mar 27, 2023

This coalition letter was sent to Members of the United States Congress on the need for permitting reform.

To the Members of the United States Congress:

Today, the single biggest obstacle to building the infrastructure of the future is a broken permitting system. That is why the undersigned list of diverse groups across the country and economy is calling on Congress to Permit America to Build by enacting meaningful, durable legislation to modernize America’s permitting processes before the end of the summer.

Public and private sector infrastructure projects will improve our economy and the lives of millions of Americans. Investing in highways, bridges, transit systems, and ports will move people and goods more quickly and efficiently. Building new energy production, transmission, and distribution projects promises to improve energy reliability and reduce emissions. Expanding access to broadband can close the digital divide, and rebuilding failing water systems will ensure safe drinking water. And we can strengthen our national security by expanding domestic production of critical technologies and the raw materials they require. But America cannot accomplish any of this if the outdated, inefficient, and unpredictable permitting process is not improved.

We are pleased to see support for modernizing our permitting process from across the ideological spectrum, and a recognition that the current system is broken. We know there are differing perspectives in Congress on how best to address current challenges. Our organizations will not agree on every issue. We are committed, however, to working with Congress to find solutions and pass meaningful and durable legislation.

As a starting point, we are united on the following principles:

·       Predictability

·       Efficiency 

·       Transparency

·       Stakeholder Input

Letters and Comments Mar 21, 2023

Dear Speaker McCarthy and Majority Leader Scalise:

For too long, the government has interfered with energy markets, burdening American production with undue restrictions, distorting markets with wasteful government spending, and discouraging private sector production. Biden Administration actions and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have enacted further red tape, higher costs, and permitting obstacles that serve as barriers to efficient and timely production in response to national and global demand. As a result, American oil and natural gas producers have been hindered from producing up to three million barrels of oil a day,1 a government imposed scarcity that has created high costs for citizens and instability in relation to our adversaries in China and Russia.

We, the undersigned 25 oil and natural gas trade associations, strongly support H.R. 1. The bill is a welcome answer to government-imposed distortions to energy markets that have decimated the energy independence that America enjoyed just a few short years ago. Make no mistake, we wholeheartedly believe in producing energy in an environmentally responsible manner that protects the nation’s air, water, land, wildlife, and cultural resources while providing billions in taxes and royalties that sustain communities and vital public services at every level of government. We are proud that American oil and natural gas are developed under the world’s most protective standards and our companies readily comply with the bedrock environmental laws. However the red tape we have experienced over the past few years is not intended to protect the environment but to handcuff American oil and natural gas production in a misguided attempt to quickly transition to an alternative reality that does not exist. The result is higher prices for all Americans and more imports from unfriendly countries. …

Letters and Comments, Testimony Mar 8, 2023

Dear Chairman Westerman,

The Independent Petroleum Association of America is pleased to support H.R.1335, the Transparency, Accountability, Permitting, and Production of American Resources Act, referred to as the TAPP Act. …

IPAA believes that many of the reforms laid out in the TAPP Act will help to revitalize oil and gas production on federal lands and waters to the benefit of the nation. The “multiple-use mandate” provided in the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) requires the BLM to balance the resources and uses of public lands to the benefit of the people. While this mandate includes far more than oil and gas production, it does not include less and IPAA believes that safe and responsible development for our resources needs to remain part of the equation.

There are several commonsense reforms in the TAPP Act that will lend to increased certainty for our members and will ultimately lead to a more streamlined process for federal oil and natural gas development. While IPAA is supportive of the bill in its entirety, there are a few key provisions that will be particularly impactful to independent producers on federal lands. IPAA supports the directive to require the Secretary of the Interior to resume quarterly lease sales. IPAA also believes it is important to include in a sale all parcels that were nominated and eligible for lease under the resource management plan of each state. IPAA also strongly supports the additional language on suspension of operations permits. Furthermore, IPAA strongly supports the language included for two region-wide annual lease sales in the prescribed offshore areas. …

Letters and Comments, Testimony Mar 8, 2023

Dear Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone,

The Independent Petroleum Association of America is pleased to support the package of energy bills being marked up today by the committee. We would also like to express our gratitude that such an important issue, America’s energy production, is a priority for this Committee and Congress. I would like to make specific reference to a couple of pieces of legislation.

First, H.R. 1121, the “Protecting American Energy Production Act” sponsored by Congressman Duncan. …

IPAA also supports H.R. 1141, the “Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act” sponsored by Congressman Pfluger. …

We also support legislative efforts to bring efficiency and certainty to liquified natural gas (LNG) infrastructure and export terminals. …

Again, I want to thank the Committee and its Members for their interest in our industry.

Respectfully,

C. Jeffrey Eshelman, II

President & Chief Executive Officer

 

Letters and Comments Mar 7, 2023

Dear Chairman Westerman and Ranking Member Grijalva:

The undersigned associations urge you to support the “Building United States Infrastructure through Limited Delays and Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act of 2023.” The BUILDER Act would reduce permitting delays and create more certainty from the beginning of an agency environmental review through any potential judicial review.

Investments in renewable energy and lower emissions technologies, critical mineral mining, and forestry to transportation projects are taking four to ten years to complete permitting. These delays serve only to impede critical improvements now and in the future. Projects intended to diversify and drive a cleaner economy, support small business growth, and move goods more efficiently need to traverse an increasingly complex and opaque permitting process. This process holds projects captive and sometimes ends up terminating them altogether. …

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. …

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.