2019 RESOLUTIONS

RESOLUTION 19.051 Renaming and Broadening the Scope of the Public, Coastal, and Indigenous or Tribal Lands Committee (Formerly the Public Lands Committee)

RESOLUTION 19.052 Dissolving the International Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission 

RESOLUTION 19.054 Urging the United States Congress to Amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to Provide That Surface Owners and Royalty Interest Owners, Who Have Not Produced or Participated in Ownership of a Well Located on Their Surface Estate, May Not be Considered Responsible Parties by the United States Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center When Funds from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund Are Spent to Plug the Well

RESOLUTION 19.051

Renaming and Broadening the Scope of the Public, Coastal, and Indigenous or Tribal Lands Committee (Formerly the Public Lands Committee)

WHEREASthe member states of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) have endorsed and supported the Public Lands Committee established by IOGCC under Article V, Section 6 of the IOGCC Bylaws; and

WHEREASthe Public Lands Committee has concentrated on ensuring the efficient and effective regulation of oil and gas operations on onshore public lands by supporting and highlighting actions of the states and the federal government to eliminate duplication of efforts and otherwise coordinate regulatory activities on public lands; and

WHEREAS, the North American Coastal Alliance Committee, which operated as a special committee of IOGCC, dissolved upon completion of a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy; and

WHEREAS, no other IOGCC committee or council has been established to coordinate the discussion of significant issues related to the development of oil and gas resources in coastal and offshore regions, including the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) area; and

WHEREASstate regulatory processes have proven successful in ensuring responsible, economic, and environmentally protective development of oil and gas resources on public, coastal, and offshore lands within their jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, state oil and gas regulatory agencies have the local and regional knowledge and experience to make scientifically sound decisions to promote economic recovery of oil and gas while protecting the environment; and

WHEREAScommunication and collaboration between state and indigenous or tribal governments have grown in importance with increasing awareness of both the benefits and the impacts from oil and gas development on indigenous or tribal lands;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission hereby expands the scope of the Public Lands Committee to include coastal, offshore, and indigenous or tribal lands among the subjects of future committee discussions and activities, and renames the committee the Public, Coastal, and Indigenous or Tribal Lands Committee.

RESOLUTION 19.052

Dissolving the International Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission 

WHEREASthe International Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) was established to provide a platform for International Affiliates to share information and experience and collaborate with other standing committees on key issues; and

WHEREASthe International Affiliates have utilized the opportunity to provide value to each other, as well as the Member States and Associate States; and

WHEREAS, the need for a dedicated standing committee for International Affiliates has declined as the International Affiliates have become deeply embedded into the myriad of operations and activities of the IOGCC, as reflected in the ability of their representatives to assume leadership positions in standing committees, to participate in bodies of work such as research, surveys, and publications, and to engage in other activities that are undertaken by other standing committees;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission hereby dissolves the International Committee as a standing committee and expresses appreciation to the members of the committee for their service to IOGCC; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IOGCC continues to welcome and support broad participation of International Affiliates in the operations and activities of the IOGCC.

RESOLUTION 19.054

Urging the United States Congress to Amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to Provide That Surface Owners and Royalty Interest Owners, Who Have Not Produced or Participated in Ownership of a Well Located on Their Surface Estate, May Not be Considered Responsible Parties by the United States Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center When Funds from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund Are Spent to Plug the Well

WHEREASthe Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA90”) established funding for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (“OSLTF”), and the OSLTF balance is currently in excess of five billion dollars; and

WHEREASthe “Principal Fund” of the OSLTF is used to pay claims, fund appropriations by Congress, and support research and development; and

WHEREAS, the “Emergency Fund” consists of a recurring 50 million dollars available each year, which the President has authority to make available without congressional appropriation; and

WHEREAS, the funds expended from the “Emergency Fund” may be used anywhere to initiate natural resource damage assessments and to respond to discharges of oil, including by plugging a well, when there is a threat to “navigable waters of the United States” or adjoining shorelines; and

WHEREASthe United States Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC) is currently responsible for administering the OSLTF, including oversight of cost recovery efforts and determinations of “responsible parties”; and

WHEREAS, many States have common law or express statutory provisions granting surface owners or royalty interest owners, who have not produced or participated in ownership of the well, claims to, interests in, or ownership of the well bore or related equipment left onsite by the last operator of record in an attempt to rectify circumstances where these parties were left with damages; and

WHEREASa finding that surface owners or royalty interest owners, when they never produced or participated in ownership of the wells, are “responsible parties” may cause a huge detriment and financial liability to these parties; and

WHEREASthe practice of seeking cost recovery against surface owners or royalty interest owners, who have not produced or participated in ownership of the wells, causes many states to hesitate or even refuse to use otherwise available funds from the OSLTF as a matter of public policy for fear that the NPFC may seek cost recovery against those parties; and

WHEREASsurface owners or royalty interest owners, who have not produced or participated in ownership of the wells, should not be considered “responsible parties,” as the true responsible parties are those that abandoned the well bore and related equipment;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission urges Congress by legislative action to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to specifically provide that surface owners and royalty interest owners, who have not produced or participated in ownership of wells, shall not be considered “responsible parties,” and therefore shall not be subjected to cost recovery efforts.