Letters & Comments

Letters and Comments Feb 10, 2022

Dear Mr. President:


The Natural Gas Council writes to you today, on behalf of the people and companies who produce, transport, and deliver U.S. natural gas across this country and around the world, to offer our industry’s support and request your administration’s partnership to improve lives and solve energy and climate challenges using America’s natural gas resources.

We are closely following the ongoing energy crisis in Europe, and our industry is doing what it can to help. We agree with your recent statement with European Commission President von der Leyen acknowledging that U.S. natural gas exports will “enhance security of supply while we continue to enable the transition to net zero emissions.” Because of our abundant domestic supply of natural gas, America’s LNG facilities have operated at near-full nameplate capacity to help our global allies and customers reduce strain on their energy supplies. The United States has been Europe’s largest supplier of LNG in 2021 and can continue to be in early 2022.

Our industry’s ability to support Europe during this crisis is no accident. It was enabled by American innovation and federal and state policies that welcomed natural gas infrastructure investment. Our domestic shale revolution and private investment in United States natural gas infrastructure has allowed our nation to lead the world in LNG exports—exports that have a lower emissions intensity than many of Europe’s other suppliers.

However, the United States is not immune to future challenges—like those now facing Europe— if we are unable to continue growing and modernizing our natural gas system. …

Letters and Comments Feb 7, 2022

The Waters Advocacy Coalition (“WAC” or “Coalition”) hereby offers the following comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) (together, the “Agencies”) proposed revised definition of “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or “Act”), 86 Fed. Reg. 69,372 (Dec. 7, 2021) (hereinafter, “Proposal” or “Proposed Rule”). The Coalition’s members possess a wealth of expertise directly relevant to the Agencies’ proposed revised definition of “waters of the United States” and are committed to protecting and restoring America’s wetlands and waters. WAC members believe that a regulation that draws clear lines between federal and state waters will help further that goal. However, the Agencies seemingly have abandoned their long-lasting pursuit to provide more clarity, consistency, and predictability regarding the scope of “waters of the United States” protected under the Act. …

WAC members have substantial interests in ensuring that federal CWA jurisdiction is exercised lawfully and in promoting national uniformity and consistency in the definition of what features are WOTUS. Their members must comply with the CWA’s prohibition against unauthorized “discharges” into any areas that are ultimately deemed jurisdictional. Their projects and operations are all subject to regulation (to differing extents) under CWA Sections 402, 404, 401, 311, other provisions of the Act, and the state and local laws that protect water quality.

In contrast with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (“NWPR”), which provided WAC members long-overdue certainty in describing what features are or are not WOTUS, the Proposed Rule codifies a return to unpredictable case-by-case determinations of jurisdiction by agency staff, thereby subjecting WAC members and landowners nationwide to considerable confusion about what features on their lands may be jurisdictional. This confusion deprives WAC members of notice of what the CWA requires and makes it impossible for WAC members to make informed decisions about the operation, logistics, and finances of their businesses. Even worse, under the CWA, WAC members may be subjected to severe criminal and civil penalties and citizen suits. …

2022 WAC Comments

Highlighted Exhibits:

Letters and Comments Feb 7, 2022

Dear Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers:

This letter provides comments from the American Petroleum Institute (“API”), the American Exploration and Production Council (“AXPC”), and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (“IPAA”) (collectively, “the Associations”) in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Army Corps”) (collectively “the Agencies’”) proposed revision (“Proposed Revision”) of the definition of “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”). While we appreciate the opportunity to provide these comments on the Proposed Revision, we are concerned that the Agencies’ Proposed Revision impermissibly departs from the text, structure, and legislative history of the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or “the Act”), and fails to adhere to the jurisprudential guideposts established by the U.S. Supreme Court (“Supreme Court” or “the Court”) and other courts. The Proposed Revision is also vague and, if finalized, will be difficult to administer – thereby continuing to prevent landowners and other stakeholders from readily understanding the jurisdictional status of waterbodies on their properties. …

Letters and Comments Jan 31, 2022

Dear Chairman Brown and Ranking Member Toomey:

The undersigned organizations write to express our concerns with some of the views of Ms. Sarah Bloom Raskin, nominated by President Biden on January 14, 2022, to serve as Vice Chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; specifically, views that the Federal Reserve should take action to discriminate against American energy companies. On behalf of the millions of Americans employed by domestic energy industry, we urge the Senate Banking Committee to ensure that nominees for the Federal Reserve will not use the power of the Federal Reserve and other regulatory means to disadvantage American energy companies in the global energy marketplace.

We are troubled that Ms. Bloom Raskin, a former Member of the Board of Governors, has advocated for the Federal Reserve to pursue policies to discriminate against American energy producers. Specifically, in a 2020 New York Times op-ed, Ms. Bloom Raskin called traditional energy a “dying industry” and argued that American energy companies be ineligible for the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program, the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, and from broad-based business tax programs. These programs and tax code provisions are generally available to all businesses in all industries. Ms. Bloom Raskin also argued that the Federal Reserve should allocate capital to finance politically favored energy sources to combat climate change, even though this goal is at odds with the Federal Reserve’s statutory mandate 12 U.S. Code § 225a. She has also supported using the Federal Reserve’s “stress tests” for banks as a method to reduce capital to traditional energy companies. …

Letters and Comments Jan 31, 2022
Dear Administrator Regan:Please accept the comments of the following oil and natural gas associations and associations that support the industry on EPA’s proposal regarding New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas source sector:  Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Arkansas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners (AIPRO), Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), Eastern Kansas Oil & Gas Association (EKOGA), Gas & Oil Association of West Virginia (GO-WV), Illinois Oil & Gas Association (IOGA), Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico (IPANM), 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), Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW), Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA), Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (Texas Alliance), Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), and Western Energy Alliance (Alliance) – collectively, the Producer Associations.  The Producer Associations look forward to working with the EPA to improve the proposed regulatory actions.

Letters and Comments Jan 28, 2022

Today, IPAA and a coalition of trade associations from across the country wrote to Senators Sherrod Brown and Patrick Toomey, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs opposing the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin as Vice Chair for Supervision at the Federal Reserve. 

From the letter:

“We strongly oppose President Biden’s nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin as Vice Chairwoman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve, the government’s most influential overseer of the American banking system. She is a strong advocate for debanking the very industry that powers America. Her multiple public statements indicate an agenda at odds with the President’s goal of providing Americans with reliable, affordable energy.

“Department of Energy projections show national and global oil and natural gas consumption increasing out to 2050, which belies Ms. Bloom Raskin’s public statements that our industry is a “dying one” that does not deserve access to the financial system…”

Letters and Comments Jan 24, 2022

Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso:

Thank you for the sensible debate and deliberations on the Build Back Better Act, the House version of which, for countless reasons, would be devastating to the economy and the future viability of the entire energy edifice of the country. We are grateful for your collective leadership in recent months to infuse balance into the conversation in order to craft more judicious legislation.

While we appreciate that recent language from your committee is not as extreme as the House version, it would still be a major blow to federal onshore oil and natural gas, which provides just under a tenth of American production, a valuable contribution that sustains rural communities and states across the West. In fact while many of the worst provisions envisioned by the House have been removed with respect to coal, hard rock mining, and the electrical grid, the target remains squarely on federal onshore oil and natural gas development. The timing of these provisions could not be worse, as the United States continues to struggle to return to levels of production achieved just a few years ago and as energy prices remain too high for the American people.

Letters and Comments Dec 15, 2021

Dear President Biden:

In furtherance of your efforts to unleash the full potential of the nation’s economy and address the impact of rising prices on the American people, and in recognition of your acknowledgement of the essential role that the ocean plays in our economy and livelihoods, the undersigned groups representing workers, communities, and businesses from across the economy and country urge your support for using science-based and transparent processes when considering actions to manage the ocean for current and future generations.

We have become increasingly concerned by calls for the administration to establish “fully and highly protected areas” in 30% of the U.S. ocean by 2030, including through marine monuments designated under the Antiquities Act. Concerns have been further heightened by recent decisions to restore a commercial fishing prohibition in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument and join the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, which commits the United States to actions that could lead to further prohibitions.

Using the Antiquities Act to prohibit access to and economic activity in vast amounts of the U.S. ocean would needlessly harm jobs and economic activity and raise prices for Americans on everything from food and energy to beyond…

Letters and Comments Dec 2, 2021

IPAA is please to provide comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to prepare a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document with regards to governing the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) , especially where it comes to the issue of incidental take. …

…While IPAA remains strongly opposed the rescission of the January 7 final rule, we hope to work with the Service as you develop a NEPA plan for the MBTA. It is not industry’s intent to circumvent our responsibilities of avoiding impacts to and protecting migratory birds and their nests. However, the January 7 final rule provided the necessary clarifying language to protect independent producers from criminal prosecution for unintended and incidental bird takes. 

Letters and Comments Dec 1, 2021

Dear Chairman Manchin,

The reconciliation text that passed the House of Representatives includes provisions of significant concern. These provisions would serve to place millions of dollars annually in new fees on energy companies that require financial flexibility to continue to produce domestic energy. Moreover, such impacts on domestic production threaten to result in greater reliance on foreign production from nations with weaker environmental standards as compared to production from U.S. federal waters and comparable regions onshore, thus contributing to carbon leakage and damaging U.S. competitiveness Measures such as these could serve to stifle U.S. production and result in further inflationary pressures on those U.S. citizens that can least afford it. These harmful provisions include but are not limited to:

  1. New per-barrel tax on domestic energy production (Sec. 70804(o))
  2. New per-acre lease fees on onshore and offshore leases (Sec. 70804(i) and (l))
  3. Royalties on extracted methane used or consumed (Sec. 70804(r))
  4. Creation of new annual pipeline fees of at least $10,000 per mile in deepwater and $1,000 per mile in shallower water (Sec. 70804(q))
  5. Increasing minimum offshore and onshore royalty rates (Sec. 70804(c))
  6. Ban on Eastern Gulf, Atlantic and Pacific leasing; (Sec. 70804(b))
  7. New and increased offshore inspection fees (Sec. 70804(m) and (n))
  8. Shortened onshore lease term lengths (Sec. 70804(h))
  9. New idled well fees (Sec. 70804(p))
  10. Repealing royalty relief authority (Sec. 70804(s))
  11. Unrestrained authority for the Secretary to withdraw lands without due process or any public input (Section 70709)
  12. Imprecisely drafted provisions to update bonding requirements and duplicative bonding provisions for idle wells (Section 71409)
  13. Multiple, duplicative per acre fees for onshore leases (71407, 71411-71414) …

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.