RESOLUTION 16.051 Expressing Support For Proposed Legislation To Grant Indemnity Selections For State Trust Lands In Federal Conservation Areas
RESOLUTION 16.052 Supporting State Regulatory Programs for Underground
Natural Gas Storage Well Safety
RESOLUTION 16.101 Supporting Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development in a Limited Area of the ANILCA Authorized Coastal Plain of ANWR as Part of the National
Energy Policy of the United States of America
Little Rock, Arkansas
Supporting Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development in a Limited Area of the ANILCA Authorized Coastal Plain of ANWR as Part of the National
Energy Policy of the United States of America
WHEREAS, the oil and natural gas industry is a vital part of the United States’ economy, and increasing domestic energy production and reducing dependence on foreign supplies are in the best interest of our nation’s strategic and economic wellbeing; and
WHEREAS, IOGCC supports conservation and use of alternative fuels but recognizes that, for the foreseeable future, increased domestic oil and gas production is needed to fuel the nation; and
WHEREAS, in section 1002 of the Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the United States Congress reserved, for the purpose of further oil and gas exploration, development, and production, an area within the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (ANWR); and
WHEREAS, the 1,500,000-acre Coastal Plain makes up less than eight percent of the 19,000,000-acre ANWR refuge; and
WHEREAS, fewer than 2,000 acres of the Coastal Plain area will be affected by surface activity as contemplated in the provisions under section 1002 of ANILCA; and
WHEREAS, the “1002 area,” is one of America’s best possibilities for the discovery of several new oil and gas accumulations; and
WHEREAS, U.S. Department of Interior estimates that the Coastal Plain contains between 5.6 and 16 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, of which 100% could be economically produced under favorable economic conditions; and
WHEREAS, advanced technology has greatly reduced the “footprint” needed for Arctic oil and gas development, as demonstrated by the fact that wells drilled at Prudhoe Bay in the 1970s required well spacing of 160 feet or about two acres per well, while wells drilled today at the Alpine field require only 10 foot spacing or about one quarter acre each; and
WHEREAS, to date, North Slope oil field development expenditures for production activity have contributed well over $50 billion to the nation’s economy, directly impacting each state in the union; and
WHEREAS, opening the Coastal Plain of ANWR could lead to 61,000 new jobs or up to as many as130,000 jobs in other studies; and
WHEREAS, the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline currently operates each day at approximately one fourth of its design capacity; and
WHEREAS, government studies suggest that new production from the Coastal Plain of ANWR could produce a 10-year sustained rate of 1 million barrels per day with production likely to continue for more than 25 years; and
WHEREAS, it will take at least 10 years to begin development after a discovery in the 1002 area of ANWR, necessitating timely action.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission urges the President and Congress, in the national interest, to open the 1002 area of the Coastal Plain of ANWR to hydrocarbon exploration and development.
Annual Business Meeting
Expressing Support For Proposed Legislation To Grant Indemnity Selections For State Trust Lands In Federal Conservation Areas
WHEREAS, at the Annual Business Meeting of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (“IOGCC”) held in Salt Lake City, Utah in May 2015, a representative from a body of land commissioners known as the Western States Land Commissioners Association (“WSLCA”) made a presentation to the Public Lands Committee of IOGCC regarding State Trust Land Strategies and Opportunities for Collaboration; and
WHEREAS, the Public Lands Committee presentation discussed a key initiative of WSLCA to support federal legislation that would grant to states the right to select unappropriated federal public lands upon relinquishment to the United States of title to state trust lands located within federal conservation areas as a means of eliminating conflicts between state and federal land management within federal conservation areas; and
WHEREAS, lands transferred to state control could provide potential additional development areas for oil and gas development; and
WHEREAS, the need for additional legislative means for resolving problems created by the location of state trust lands inholdings inside federal conservation areas remains pressing; and
WHEREAS, there is pending legislation in Congress that has been developed through consultation and discussions with conservation groups, other governmental entities, and the public; and prior draft legislation proposals have been refined to take into account concerns and comments expressed by such groups; and
WHEREAS, IOGCC’s mission to promote efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources correlates with WSLCA’s initiative, and there is an opportunity to collaborate with WSCLA in support of legislative action to resolve the matter of state trust lands held within federal conservation areas; and
WHEREAS, IOGCC and its member states support legislative efforts to address this issue.
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT, the IOGCC does hereby support and endorse legislative actions by Congress to remove state trust lands from within federal areas and select unappropriated federal lands in lieu, and further requests that the members of the congressional delegations of each IOGCC state take action as necessary to achieve this objective.
Supporting State Regulatory Programs for Underground
Natural Gas Storage Well Safety
WHEREAS, The citizens of the United States depend on a safe and reliable supply of natural gas for the safety and security of the economy and the homes in which they live; and
WHEREAS, the underground storage of natural gas within states is a vital process to ensure reliable delivery of natural gas and also promote efficient development and production of domestic resources; and
WHEREAS, for decades public utilities and natural gas transportation companies have integrated underground natural gas storage into their interstate and intrastate pipeline operations to increase deliverability and decrease overall costs; and
WHEREAS, there are over 400 active underground storage facilities in 30 states, with a combined storage capacity of over nine trillion cubic feet, which is equivalent to about 35 percent of the annual natural gas consumption in the United States; and
WHEREAS, underground gas storage facilities are complex and require professional expertise across several disciplines that include pipeline safety, well bore integrity, and reservoir management; and
WHEREAS, the member states of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission have trained personnel to actively and effectively regulate natural gas storage wells for safe underground storage of natural gas; and
WHEREAS, many states have adopted rules and regulations regarding the safe operation of underground natural gas storage wells and these rules and regulations are currently implemented under state authority; and
WHEREAS, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, under its existing Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will initiate discussions regarding regulation of natural gas storage well safety; and
WHEREAS, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Ground Water Protection Council, through the States First Initiative, have formed a multi-constituency task force to encourage continuous improvement in state underground natural gas storage well safety regulations; and
WHEREAS, legislation by Congress would serve to clarify underground natural gas storage well safety responsibilities for the benefit of our national economy and the citizens of our states; and
WHEREAS, a one size fits all approach does not account for the differences in geology within a state much less the difference in geology from state to state; and
WHEREAS, a one size fits all approach does not account for differences in the jurisdiction between interstate and intrastate natural gas storage facilities.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission hereby declares its support for clarifying federal legislation for underground natural gas storage that embraces federal and state partnerships for regulatory responsibility that will best serve the people of the United States and allows for natural gas storage wells to be regulated under state authority; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission shall pursue a Memorandum of Agreement with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regarding State authorities in the regulation of all natural gas storage well safety.