Washington, D.C. – Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the “Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand American Energy Act” or “SECURE American Energy Act.” The bipartisan SECURE American Energy Act overhauls resource management practices on federal lands to promote expanded exploration, development, and production of oil, gas and wind energy.
The introduced version – H.R. 4239, sponsored by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Vicente González (D-TX) – will be considered during the Full Committee’s markup on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
“The SECURE American Energy Act provides a multifaceted approach to improving access and management of our nations valuable energy sources,” Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said. “These proposals provide a blueprint for energy dominance on our nation’s lands.”
President of the Consumer Energy Alliance David Holt tailored his testimony to the forgotten voices of the national energy discussion – families and small businesses – who are deeply impacted by energy policy and production.
“[T]oo much of our national discussion appears to try and divide into a forced choice between protecting the environment or meeting our energy needs,” Holt stated.“We fundamentally disagree with this argument. Our great nation can, and must, meet our environmental challenges and our energy needs.”
“[E]nergy is a key economic driver in the United States, and a robust, sensible energy policy will create jobs, improve our economy and support our manufacturing sector,” Holt added.
Opening up America’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is estimated to add 840,000 jobs and generate over $200 billion in revenue for the nation. These opportunities have been curtailed due to burdensome permitting processes and other disincentives to responsible development on federal lands.
“Permitting inefficiencies, nontransparent bonding pronouncements, and unilateral presidential withdrawals have all created considerable uncertainty for OCS operators. Uncertainty that remains is actively discouraging new development, ” EricSmith, Professor of Practice and Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute in the A. B. Freeman School of Business, said.
“[W]e also recognize there is and continues to be a need for the agency to improve and enhance its planning, environmental analysis and permitting actions,” Ray Brady, member of the Public Lands Foundation, stated.
States with established regulatory programs for energy development provide environmental safeguards without duplicative, lengthy and costly permitting delays. For example, the Bureau of Land Management issued Applications for Permits to Drill in an average of 257 days in 2016 while state agencies issued the same permit in an average of just 30 days.
The SECURE American Energy Act enables states with established regulatory programs to manage certain federal permitting and regulatory responsibilities for oil and gas development on federal lands.
“This legislation is a rare opportunity to implement better government instead of bigger government and North Dakota urges to you approve and pass this legislation,” Lynn Helms, Director of the North Dakota Industrial Commission in the Department of Mineral Resources, said.