American Oil and Natural Gas Operators Applaud NEPA Update

Washington – Today, the American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC), a group of America’s largest independent operators, applauded the proposal from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which will create a more efficient permitting process, increase consistency across federal agencies, and clarify longstanding regulations.

“Our country is at a pivotal time for American energy; all phases of energy production need efficient, effective and streamlined processes to ensure that we can meet our growing energy demands and protect our national security interests. The Administration’s modernization of NEPA removes bureaucratic barriers that were stifling construction of key infrastructure projects needed for U.S. producers to deliver energy in a safe and environmentally protective way,” said AXPC CEO Anne Bradbury.

NEPA has not seen any meaningful changes since 1978. Since that time, the U.S. has become a net exporter of energy; demand for domestic natural gas grown dramatically; and, innovation and efficiency gains delivered by American energy producers have positioned our nation as an energy leader.

Under the current NEPA guidelines, the U.S. Department of the Interior disbursed $11.69 billion from revenue generated by energy production on federal and tribal lands for the fiscal year of
2019. These funds were distributed to states, conservation funds, and the U.S. Treasury. Updated guidelines will allow for more timely permitting decisions for production on federal lands – leading to more funding for our states, communities, and national preservation efforts.

“Updating NEPA will expedite projects for all sources of energy – pipelines, power lines, wind turbines and oil and gas wells – and will provide the energy needed to continue moving our economy forward,” said Bradbury.

Background

In the past, the NEPA process delayed, and in many cases prevented, construction of critical infrastructure. CEQ’s proposal seeks to streamline the processes outlined within NEPA, which
have become increasingly complex and difficult to navigate. The increased coordination across federal agencies outlined in the proposal released today will make the entire permitting process more seamless and efficient.

NEPA outlines the process for federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of a range of permitting decisions, including oil and natural gas production on federal lands and  interstate energy infrastructure projects. The rule also outlines the process for CEQ to inform the public about these considerations.

Read an August 2018 letter responding to CEQ’s questions regarding NEPA’s implementing regulations here.

About the American Exploration & Production Council
AXPC is a national trade association representing 29 of the largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the United States. Dedicated to safety, science and technological advancement, AXPC members strive to deliver affordable, reliable energy to consumers while positively impacting the economy and the communities in which we live
and operate. Learn more about AXPC by visiting https://www.axpc.org/.

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