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Witnesses Highlight the Importance of Onshore Energy Development for Jobs, Economic Growth, & Energy Security

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2013 - Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on four bills that would streamline government red tape and expand development of America’s onshore oil, natural gas, and renewable energy resources as part of a true all-of-the-above approach to energy production.

“Americans shouldn’t be forced to make summer vacation plans based on the prices at the pump.  These bills are an important step toward bringing down gasoline prices and giving hard working families a much needed break from the Obama no-energy agenda.  Our bills would also create American jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign imports, and even help reduce the national debt by bringing in more revenue for the treasury.  When we can lower the national debt, there will be more money left for Americans to spend on the needs of their families,” said Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05).

H.R. 1964, the “National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act” would cut through cumbersome government regulations to unlock the full potential of the National Petroleum Reserve ‐ Alaska (NPR-A) by ensuring its energy resources are developed and transported in a timely, efficient manner.  It would also nullify the Interior Department’s plan to close over half of the NPR-A to energy production.  Witnesses from Alaska stressed the importance of responsible production in the NPR-A:

“The State of Alaska supports legislative measures that promote access to federal lands for responsible resource development and bring timeliness and efficiency to the federal land management and permitting processes.  Federal policy must take a new direction to realize the opportunities and strategic benefits that responsible resource development plays for the nation.  The State of Alaska fully supports H.R. 1964.” - Dan Sullivan, Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner

“I think it is important for Congress to reaffirm that the purpose of the NPR-A is to provide oil and gas resources to the United States and to take steps to ensure that the Reserve is managed in a way that allows for responsible natural resource development.” - Charlotte Brower, North Slope Alaska Borough Mayor

“Safe and responsible oil and gas development is the only industry that has remained in our region long enough to foster village improvements that have improved our quality of life…We understand that the currently-known onshore resources are not enough to stem the decline in production; they only reduce its severity.  New exploration is needed.  Oil, as they say, is where you find it.  We have hydrocarbons-coal, natural gas and oil, and in some places we have them in abundance.  Resource potential exists on both State- and federally-owned owned lands, as well as private lands owned by North Slope Alaska Natives, including prospects in the NPR-A.  NPR-A and the Alaskan offshore represent the future.” - Richard K. Glenn, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s Lands & Natural Resources Executive Vice President 

H.R. 1965, the “Federal Lands and Energy Security Act” and H.R. 1394, the “Planning for American Energy Act of 2013” are important pieces of legislation that would expand onshore energy production by streamlining the permitting process, providing leasing certainty, and facilitating oil shale development. 

“The federal government owns millions of acres prospective for oil and gas across the Inter-Mountain West.  The unmistakable conclusion is that the prosperity, the jobs, the harvest of domestic resources – from unconventional oil and gas plays, enhanced recovery projects and technology breakthroughs to come – can only be realized to their potential by mandating the Department of the Interior devise and publicize a plan to: encourage development, provide leasing certainty and streamline oil and gas permitting.” - Jack R. Ekstrom, Whiting Petroleum Corporation’s Vice President of Government & Corporate Relations

H.R. 555,  the “BLM Live Internet Auctions Act” would update the federal oil and natural gas leasing process by authorizing live internet auctions.  This would save taxpayer dollars by updating an antiquated and outdated system.

“The BLM Live Internet Auctions Act that you are considering would allow the BLM to harness the power of a vast Internet‐based oil and gas auction marketplace, which presents a host of new opportunities to the BLM…Through modernization, you allow the BLM to increase the participation and competition for every lease sale, and increase their revenue through higher parcel values and lower internal costs.  This can happen for the BLM through the BLM Live Internet Auctions Act.  This piece of legislation opens the door, by giving the Secretary of the Interior the authorization to establish an Internet leasing program.  This common sense piece of legislation can truly change the future of the BLM’s leasing program.”-William W. Britain, EnergyNet.com, Inc CEO


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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