President Veto Recommended for New Energy Bills

on November 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

President Obama Makes Statement After Vote On Rules Change

President Obama’s Senior Advisors today recommended he veto two new energy bills which respectively seek to block Interior Department regulations on hydraulic fracturing and speed up oil and gas drilling permits.

On November 19th, 2013, the White House Administration issued a pair of statements strongly opposing two new energy bills: (1) H.R. 2728 – Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (the “First Bill”); and (2) H.R. 1965 – Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, (the “Second Bill”).

The First Bill requires the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to defer to existing State regulations on hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian lands, regardless of the quality or comprehensiveness of the State regulation. The White House said that BLM has been working closely with States and Tribes on strengthening oversight of hydraulic fracturing operations and establishing a uniform baseline level of appropriate environmental protection. The Administration is, therefore, concerned that the First Bill will thwart consistent environmental protections and prevent the Interior from ensuring that the oil and gas extraction process occurs in a “safe and responsible manner”.


BLM Lands and Jurisdictions (BLM)

The Second Bill is a GOP bill which, among other initiatives, would introduce an expedited drill permit application timeline. It provides that the Secretary shall decide whether to issue a permit to drill within 30 days after receiving an application and gives the Secretary power to extend this period for up to 2 periods of 15 days each, providing written notice of the delay has been given to the applicant.

If the Secretary has not made a decision on the application by the end of the 60-day period, the application is deemed approved, except in cases in which existing reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 or Endangered Species Act of 1973 are incomplete.

The Administration claims the Second Bill would “strip the ability of the Department of the Interior to issue permits to drill based on important environmental reviews, clearances and tribal consultation” and strongly recommends that the President veto the bill, if presented.

Both bills are expected to pass the House, but face strong debate in the Senate.

November 19, 2013 via Energy Solutions Forum

Energy Solutions Forum is an energy policy research and data company based in New York City. Follow @EnergySolForum for policy research and stay plugged in with ESF Calendar, the industry’s go-to resource for energy business events in and around NYC.