Senate confirms Hayes's nomination as deputy Interior secretary

The US Senate confirmed David J. Hayes's nomination as deputy US Interior secretary on May 20 after two Republican members lifted holds they had placed on his selection.

Sen. Robert B. Bennett (R-Utah) removed his block after receiving assurances from US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that Hayes would review 77 oil and gas leases from a US Bureau of Land Management sale in December that Salazar canceled.

A failure on May 13 by Senate Democrats' efforts to invoke cloture and remove threats of filibusters by Bennett and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), who also placed a hold on Hayes's nomination, elevated the matter to a point where Salazar took another look and agreed that he had relied on inaccurate information, according to Bennett. When he canceled the leases, Salazar said that individual tracts might be reviewed and possibly offered later.

"The Senate has sent a clear message that we will hold the administration to its commitment of pursing a balanced energy approach, which must include developing our energy resources here at home. I have spoken with the secretary, and he has assured me that the review will be more than a 'check the box' exercise," the Utahn said.

In a May 20 letter to Bennett, Salazar agreed to direct members of a review team led by Hayes to visit the Utah tract sites within 10 days; to meet with the BLM, National Park Service, and other government entities in the state concerning the withdrawn lease parcels; and to meet with all interested stakeholders in a community forum in Utah.

The secretary also said that he would direct Hayes and the review team to review the administrative record concerning the 77 leases and provide a report with recommendations by June 5. He said that he would supply Bennett with a copy of the report and that he and Hayes would meet personally with the senator to review it in detail.

Murkowski said she also was pleased with the commitment by Salazar and would lift her hold. "While it's unfortunate that it required a showdown on the Senate floor, it's important that the administration respond in full and in a timely matter to senators' questions on the direction of its energy policy," she maintained.

"The Obama administration has spoken frequently about taking a balanced approach to energy policy and now it knows that we are serious about holding it to that commitment," Murkowski said.

Salazar said following the confirmation vote that he appreciated Bennett and Murkowski's decisions to lift their holds and let Hayes be confirmed as deputy Interior secretary.

"I have committed to Sen. Bennett that David Hayes, once confirmed, will promptly review the 77 disputed Utah oil and gas parcels, one by one, as I have promised, and we will determine which, if any, are appropriate for development. I have also pledged that though we will agree on some issues and disagree on others, my door will always be open to Sen. Bennett and Sen. Murkowski," he said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

Related Articles

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

FWS issues Shell letter of authorization on Chukchi Sea lease

07/01/2015 The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. a letter of authorization (LOA) related to the potential disturbance of polar b...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Court rejects BP, Anadarko Macondo appeals

06/30/2015 BP PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have lost separate appeals to the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court decision expanding their financial...

Senate Democrats outline broad energy goals to nation’s governors

06/30/2015 Forty-five US Senate Democrats outlined broad energy policy goals including more clean energy technology investments, infrastructure improvement, a...

Group suggests principles for Alberta royalty review

06/29/2015 The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has suggested that four principles guide Alberta in an oil and gas royalty review planned by...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil for August hovers below $60/bbl

06/29/2015 US crude oil futures for August delivery settled below $60/bbl on the New York market June 26 as tensions mounted about Greece, which ordered lende...

API, other groups urge EPA to reconsider biofuel quotas

06/29/2015 The US Environmental Protection Agency should reconsider its recently issued biofuel quotas because they serve the fuel ethanol lobby's interests i...
White Papers

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected