Compact Comments

IOGCC creates new task force

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, IOGCC chairman, announced recently the formation of an Oil Price Differentials Task Force to address crude oil price anomalies in the Rocky Mountain and northern plains states.

The task force will focus on three specific objectives, including:
• Examining the causes of price differentials;
• Analyzing problems based on near-term, mid-term and long-term solutions, with immediate attention focused on near-term options; and
• Recommending actions by appropriate parties.

Gov. Freudenthal invited the states of Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and the Province of Alberta. He also has requested participation from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The governor is calling for preliminary recommendations as soon as possible and a final report by the IOGCC Annual Meeting, Oct. 15-17, in Austin, Texas.

For more information, visit the IOGCC Web site.

IOGCC Midyear Meeting May 21-23

It's not too late to register for the IOGCC Midyear Issues Summit!

The meeting is May 21-23 in Billings, Mont., at the Sheraton Billings Hotel. Don't miss the exciting schedule in Big Sky Country.

You can still register online by visiting the IOGCC Web site's registration page.

IOGCC makes case for oil and gas research funding

In recent comments submitted to the U.S. Senate Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee, the IOGCC illustrated its grave concern over the administration’s proposed fiscal year 2007 budget cuts that would eliminate oil and gas research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The comments affirm that domestic oil and natural gas are crucial in the midst of energy instability and research and development (R&D) is the most important factor in maximizing the availability and utilization of the nation’s precious petroleum reserves.

Read more at the IOGCC's Web site.

IOGCC submits comments to USGS; urges cooperation with states

In recent comments submitted to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the IOGCC advised that cooperation with oil and gas producing states would be beneficial for the USGS’ new Science Strategy Team.

The team was created to develop a science strategy for the future and identified eight major issues it deemed most important to society. The public was invited to comment on the USGS role in addressing those issues, opportunities for the USGS to partner with other organizations, additions to the list and trends that may affect USGS science in the future.

Read more at the IOGCC Web site.

Kansas establishes new oil and gas act

The Kansas oil and gas industry is joining the oil and gas industries of Oklahoma, Ohio and Illinois as a leader in efforts to provide better understanding of energy challenges facing the state and nation, according to a press release issued recently by the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association.

The Kansas Petroleum Education & Marketing Act, signed into law by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, makes Kansas the fourth state to establish an oil and gas industry check-off program to address emerging critical issues.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, passed by Congress, provides a mandate to establish ongoing, self-sustaining energy education programs. Oklahoma, Ohio and Illinois so far have led the way in establishing those programs.

Under the new Kansas Petroleum Education & Marketing Act, Kansas oil and natural gas producers can voluntarily contribute funds to a program designed to educate the public on how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the history, society and economy of Kansas. It will also address the role of alternative energy sources in the long-term future of the state and nation.

On the Hill

By Kevin Bliss

Increased public unhappiness with high gasoline prices has resulted in energy issues again moving into the Washington spotlight. At least two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives are planning hearings on the high gasoline prices and it now appears likely that both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate will, before summer, consider one or more pieces of energy legislation.

The hearings in the House will cover the gamut of concerns - from the impact of high prices on consumers to the obstacles to producing more oil and natural gas on federal land. There are also moves afoot to increase taxes on oil companies, including an administration-backed proposal to repeal Section 1329 of last summer’s energy bill allowing the amortization of geological and geophysical expenditures. In the Senate, Sens. Pete Domenici (New Mexico) and Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico) hope to pass a bill to expand oil and natural gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. On the House side, expect a number of energy provisions on the floor in June, including bills to increase refinery capacity and tackling the offshore production issue.

It’s also appropriations season, and the IOGCC will continue its work, with strong member state assistance, to secure an appropriation for an orphan well plugging program, giving states, through the IOGCC, funds on a matching basis to permanently plug orphaned oil and natural gas wells. This $10 million appropriation would fund a provision authorized in last year’s Energy Policy Act.

Briefs

Tom Richmond, IOGCC official representative from Montana, recently made the following appointments to IOGCC standing committees. All four appointees are members of the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation:

Energy Resources, Research and Technology
Wayne Smith
Don Bradshaw

Environment and Safety
Linda Nelson
Joan Stahl


David Fleischaker, IOGCC official representative from Oklahoma, recently appointed Michael Ming and Bill Lawson to the Energy Resources, Research and Technology Committee.


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