Bipartisan SECURE American Energy Act Advances to Markup
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the “Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand American Energy Act” or “SECURE American Energy Act.” The bipartisan SECURE American Energy Act overhauls resource management practices on federal lands to promote expanded exploration, development, and production of oil, gas and wind energy.
The introduced version – H.R. 4239, sponsored by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Vicente González (D-TX) – will be considered during the Full Committee’s markup on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
“The SECURE American Energy Act provides a multifaceted approach to improving access and management of our nations valuable energy sources,”Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said. “These proposals provide a blueprint for energy dominance on our nation’s lands.”
President of the Consumer Energy Alliance David Holt (NGP Photo by Dave Harbour) tailored his testimony to the forgotten voices of the national energy discussion – families and small businesses – who are deeply impacted by energy policy and production.
“[T]oo much of our national discussion appears to try and divide into a forced choice between protecting the environment or meeting our energy needs,” Holt stated.“We fundamentally disagree with this argument. Our great nation can, and must, meet our environmental challenges and our energy needs.”
“[E]nergy is a key economic driver in the United States, and a robust, sensible energy policy will create jobs, improve our economy and support our manufacturing sector,” Holt added.
Opening up America’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is estimated to add 840,000 jobs and generate over $200 billion in revenue for the nation. These opportunities have been curtailed due to burdensome permitting processes and other disincentives to responsible development on federal lands.
“Permitting inefficiencies, nontransparent bonding pronouncements, and unilateral presidential withdrawals have all created considerable uncertainty for OCS operators. Uncertainty that remains is actively discouraging new development, ” EricSmith, Professor of Practice and Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute in the A. B. Freeman School of Business, said.
“[W]e also recognize there is and continues to be a need for the agency to improve and enhance its planning, environmental analysis and permitting actions,” Ray Brady, member of the Public Lands Foundation, stated.
States with established regulatory programs for energy development provide environmental safeguards without duplicative, lengthy and costly permitting delays. For example, the Bureau of Land Management issued Applications for Permits to Drill in an average of 257 days in 2016 while state agencies issued the same permit in an average of just 30 days.
The SECURE American Energy Act enables states with established regulatory programs to manage certain federal permitting and regulatory responsibilities for oil and gas development on federal lands.
“This legislation is a rare opportunity to implement better government instead of bigger government and North Dakota urges to you approve and pass this legislation,” Lynn Helms, Director of the North Dakota Industrial Commission in the Department of Mineral Resources, said.
Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, a Commissioner Emeritus of NARUC, NARUC's Official Representative to IOGCC and Vice Chairman of NARUC's Gas Committee. He served as Gas Committee Chairman of the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners. He also served as commissioner of the Anchorage Bicentennial Commission and the Anchorage Heritage Land Bank Commission.He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree: English, at Colorado State University, a Master of Science Degree: Communications-Journalism at Murray State University and graduated from Utility Regulatory School for Commissioners at Michigan State University. He served as a Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at Alaska Pacific University, taught bank marketing classes at the University of Alaska and was an English teacher at Los Alamos High School.Harbour served in ranks of Private - Captain during a 4-year assignment with the Army in Korea, Idaho, Georgia and Fort Meade and received the Meritorious Service Medal among other commendations.Harbour is also a past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, the Alaska Oil & Gas Association Government Affairs Committee, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the Export Council of Alaska and the Department of Commerce's District Export Council. He is a past President of the Alaska Press Club, American Bald Eagle Foundation, Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska and Common Sense for Alaska.Harbour was instrumental in founding the American Bald Eagle Research Institute (UAS), the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, the Downtown Anchorage Business Partnership, and Arctic Power.He also served as CEO of several small Alaska organizations, including the Anchorage Parking Authority and Action Security, Inc. Harbour is also Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress.Harbour's wife, Nancy, is a professional, performing arts administrator and his three boys, Todd, Benjamin and William work in the fields of environmental management, energy marketing and medicine.