May 10, 2017 Statement on Senate Vote Seeking to Rollback Obama-era BLM Methane Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representing the independent producers that develop 90 percent of America’s oil and natural gas wells, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and CEO Barry Russell issued the following statement on today’s Senate procedural vote failing to allow debate on an Obama-era rule on methane emissions on federal land:
“We’re disappointed the Senate wasn’t able to stop President Obama’s unworkable rule by a federal agency that does not have the Congressionally-granted authority to regulate air quality. This overreaching rule puts independent producers – many of which are small family-run businesses with limited resources – on the hook for complying with the costly burdens of a flawed regulation. This regulation will particularly impact small-producing, marginal wells located on federal lands. Shutting-in these smaller wells means less royalties will get sent back to the federal Treasury. These federal dollars are vital for many western economies and are used to fund state and local priorities, such as education and infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.
“IPAA looks forward to working with the Interior Department on a targeted, meaningful solution that will achieve the common goal of ensuring the American taxpayers receive a fair and equitable return in the form of royalties while developing a safe, workable regulation, instead of this one-size-fits-all approach.”
IPAA thanks Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) for his outstanding leadership on this important issue to America’s independent producers and small businesses.
Background and Pending Court Case:
IPAA and other industry trade groups in April 2016 submitted lengthy comments to the BLM outlining industry’s concerns with its proposed Venting and Flaring Rule. Two months before leaving office, the Obama administration hastily finalized its prescriptive and burdensome rule. Independent producers – small businesses with an average of 15 employees – repeatedly shared their concerns with and provided industry data to the Obama administration during every step of the rulemaking process and in numerous follow-up meetings with federal regulators, but their concerns were disregarded. After the agency’s failure to fully take into account industry’s concerns, IPAA and Western Energy Alliance were left with little option but to challenge the BLM Venting and Flaring Rule in court. In a recent court briefing, a district court judge indicated his belief that the rule is heavily focused on emissions reductions, which lies outside the Congressionally-granted authority of the BLM. The court case on the merits of the industry’s challenge is still ongoing.
About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (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 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. Learn more about IPAA by visiting www.ipaa.org and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.