NOIA Applauds Passage of House Interior Appropriations Bill
NOIA President Randall Luthi released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill:
“NOIA applauds members of the House of Representatives for passing the first Interior and Environment Appropriations bill since 2009. Not only does the passage of the bill bring back regular order, the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill includes smart policy provisions to limit the harmful impact of many short-sighted regulations targeting offshore oil and natural gas exploration and development and includes protections from other potential politically-driven regulations the Obama administration could levy on its way out of office.
“Some of the common-sense provisions included in the bill directly target new rules released during this year’s onslaught of job-killing federal regulations. The bill prevents the federal government from implementing the flawed one-size-fits-all well control rule until numerous implementation questions are fully answered. The bill also delays implementation of new offshore decommissioning bonding requirements which are based on incomplete data and amount to a solution in search of a problem, and it keeps the government from implementing the overly prescriptive and generally unworkable Arctic drilling regulations. In addition, the bill postpones implementation of the costly air quality rule until air modeling studies commissioned to inform the rule are finished and opened for public review and comment. Together, these rules impose exorbitant and harmful costs on offshore development without providing any increases in safety or environmental benefits. Thankfully, this bill will reverse that harm.
“In addition, the appropriations bill keeps U.S. federal waters, including offshore Alaska, open for continued exploration and development of our valuable offshore oil and natural gas resources, thus strengthening our nation’s economic and energy security future. Likewise, by keeping Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico waters open to research and exploration using modern seismic surveys, we can help further our understanding of America’s true offshore energy potential. The bill rightfully keeps Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds in states that host offshore energy development, prevents further implementation of the administration’s ocean zoning executive order, and allows for the continued use of environmentally safe well-stimulation techniques offshore California.
“Altogether, this bill recognizes that the offshore oil and natural gas industry is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of our country. The industry provides thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in revenue to federal and state governments, and produces affordable and reliable energy for all Americans. The bill includes strong and smart policies that will keep offshore oil and natural gas operations safe and sustainable. NOIA looks forward to working with Congress to preserve these important provisions as this bill or other year-end appropriations legislation moves forward.”