House Republicans live in imagined energy world, Salazar charges

US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar leveled a broadside against US House Republicans and other critics of the Obama administration’s energy policies who he said are living in a politically driven imagined energy world.

“It’s a place where up is down and left is right, where oil shale seems to be mistaken for shale oil, where record profits justify billions in subsidies, and where rising US production and falling dependence on foreign oil somehow add up to bad news,” he said in an Apr. 24 National Press Club luncheon address.

He urged them to forsake election-year politics and pass bills codifying offshore oil and gas reforms imposed by Interior following the 2010 Macondo well incident and oil spill; approve an agreement with Mexico opening “transboundary” oil reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico for development; and implement policies to create a long-term, sustained renewable energy economy, including tax incentives and a clean energy standard.

Disputing the perception that Americans are deeply divided over energy policy, Salazar said outside of Washington, people generally agree on what needs to be done: reduce US reliance on foreign oil; expand offshore oil and gas activity, but do it safely and in the right places; broaden the national energy portfolio with more solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels; and improve motor vehicle fuel economy.

“I think that those who have stood in the way of solutions are going to find the ground shifting under their feet,” Salazar maintained. “The energy world is changing, with or without them. Whether it’s our oil and gas technology, our solar power plants, or our auto manufacturers, the pace of American innovation is staggering. The US is determined to lead in the new energy world.”

Proposals in House

House GOP energy leaders did not immediately respond, but bills before the two key energy committees there reflect some of their thinking.

The Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to begin debate on Apr. 25 on a bill that would require opening of more federal acreage for oil and gas activity in response to any release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; and a bill to establish a committee to analyze potential gasoline, diesel fuel, and natural gas price impacts of proposed US Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The measures would go before the full House as proposed amendments to a pending transportation appropriations bill.

The Natural Resources Committee, meanwhile, has scheduled a hearing for Apr. 26 on seven bills, three of which directly involve oil and gas. HR 4381 would direct the Interior secretary to establish energy production goals on all DOI and US Forest Service lands; HR 4382 would aim to assure that leasing occurs by eliminating redundant bureaucracy; and HR 4383 aims to streamline the federal drilling permit application process.

Salazar suggested that such measures aren’t necessary. “Over the past 3 years, we have worked to restore certainty and reduce conflict,” he said. “Our onshore leasing reforms have helped bring the public into the leasing process earlier, so that fewer leases end up in court. We’ve worked to resolve the controversies on some of the largest oil and gas projects in the West, including for more than 3,500 new wells on Anadarko’s Greater Natural Buttes project in Utah.

“Through an interagency team led by Deputy Sec. David J. Hayes, the US government is—for the first time ever—closely coordinating its energy permitting activities in the Alaska, to good result,” he continued. “And we are working to deploy a new system for processing drilling permits on [US Bureau of Land Management] lands. We expect to reduce permitting times by two-thirds.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

Keyera to take majority interest in Alberta gas plant

12/12/2014 Keyera Corp., Calgary, will pay $65 million (Can.) to buy a 70.79% ownership interest in the Ricinus deep-cut gas plant in west-central Alberta.

PBF Energy, PBF Logistics make management changes

12/12/2014 Matthew Lucey, currently executive vice-president of PBF Energy Inc., will succeed Michael Gayda as the company’s president. Todd O’Malley, current...

TAEP: TPI still peaking, but ‘contraction unavoidable’ as oil prices fall

12/12/2014 The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a composite index based on a comprehensive group of upstream economic indicators released by the Texas Alliance of Ene...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price extends slump

12/12/2014 Crude oil prices extended their slump on the New York market with a Dec. 11 settlement of less than $60/bbl for January, and prices continued downw...

US needs more data before ending crude export ban, House panel told

12/11/2014 Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and...

BOEM raises offshore oil spill liability limit to $134 million

12/11/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from ...

Rosneft, Essar sign terms of oil supply agreement

12/11/2014 OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


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