Compact Comments

IOGCC tackles domestic oil and gas issues at Midyear Issues Summit

Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) member governors and representatives focused on key issues affecting the conservation and efficient recovery of the nation’s natural gas and oil resources during its Midyear Issues Summit in Point Clear, Ala.

Commission Chairman Gov. John Hoeven, of North Dakota, addressed participants during the meeting’s general session on the status of several key IOGCC initiatives vital to the organization’s 37 member states. The governor highlighted in particular the commission’s continued commitment to environmental protection and the importance of an effort to secure federal funding for the plugging of orphaned wells in the states.

“There are believed to be tens of thousands of orphan wells in this country,” said Hoeven. “Many of these wells are very shallow and pose no risk to the environment. However, there are others that are unplugged or inadequately plugged and are a genuine threat to the environment and safety. We have focused on these problem wells and are working with Congress on federal funding for a permanent fix.”

In addition, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley emphasized the importance of domestic production, both on and offshore.

In other business, Hoeven signed to renew a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. EPA presented by Associate Administrator for Intergovernmental Relations Randy Kelly. The MOU, also signed by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, has been held since 2002 and was created to improve regulatory cooperation among the states and the EPA, to promote protection of the environment in a cost-effective manner, to minimize regulatory duplication between the state and national levels of government and to increase efficiency and communication.

Call for Nominations Underway for IOGCC’s 2007 Chairman’s Stewardship Award

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission announced its 2007 Chairman’s Stewardship Awards to honor the outstanding environmental stewards of the oil and natural gas industry and is seeking nominations for this year’s competition.

Protecting the environment is a major concern of the world today. Since 1935 the IOGCC has focused on the need for sound oil and natural gas environmental policy. The Chairman’s Stewardship Awards honors the achievements and efforts of the oil and natural gas industry that help serve as examples for others in the industry, government and public.

Nominations will be accepted in four different categories: Major Company, Independent Company, Energy Education and Environmental Partnership.

The winners will be presented their award at IOGCC’s Annual Meeting by IOGCC Chairman Gov. John Hoeven of North Dakota in New Orleans, La., in September.

For more information, log on to www.iogcc.state.ok.us or contact Tiffany Batdorf at 405.525.3556, ext. 114. Nominations must be completed and received by August 1.

IOGCC launches projects Web page

Visitors to IOGCC's Web site can now view the status of current grant projects.

The page, "current projects," can be found under the "What We Do" section of the site and currently is used to communicate the results of a national study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy on the practical management of produced water.

In the study, researchers evaluated oil and gas operations throughout the country to observe how industry has dealt innovatively with water management challenges. They released their results in a Guidebook that catalogues produced water quality data and water processing techniques operators are utilizing across the country.

The Guidebook, a video presentation and watershed analysis tool are all available on the new projects page.

Stay tuned for updates on other projects.

Senators and Representatives Sign Orphan Well Plugging "Dear Colleague" Letter

Fifteen senators signed a bi-partisan “Dear Colleague” letter to the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee supporting IOGCC’s request to include $10 million in the FY 2008 funding bill for the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the orphan well program authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Lead co-signers were Sen. Jeff Bingaman and Sen. John Cornyn. In the House of Representatives, led by Reps. David Boren and Ralph Hall, a total of twenty-two members signed a similar letter to the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

Our success in obtaining House and Senate signatures was due in large part to the work of many IOGCC representatives who worked hard to encourage their congressional delegations to sign the letters. Thanks!

The next critical step is to contact members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that will handle the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill. If the subcommittees agree to include the IOGCC request in the bill, chances are excellent that the full Appropriations Committee will do likewise. Although no dates have been set, voting by the subcommittees is expected to take place before the end of May.

Please check the linked lists of Senate and Senate and House Energy and Water Development appropriators. If someone from your state is a member, contact them to request that they support the Oil and Gas Well Plugging Program appropriation. Please direct questions to Diane Shea, IOGCC’s Washington Representative, at 301-913-5243 or dsshea60@verizon.net.

IOGCC Chairman: Federal lands access important to energy independence

IOGCC Chairman Gov. John Hoeven, of North Dakota, stressed in a letter presented during a U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources joint oversight hearing that the responsible development of oil and gas resources on federal lands not only benefit states’ economies, but also decrease America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Read the press release.

Read Hoeven's letter.

On The Hill

The energy crisis is apparently over, despite relatively high gasoline prices, and the focus of the new leadership on Capitol Hill on the energy front appears to be global climate change.

The efforts under way in the oil and gas area seem to be focused, at least in the House, on how to roll back provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that benefit the industry. Three provisions in the sights (for roll back) pertain to categorical exclusions, oil shale and the time deadline for APDs (application for permits to drill). The House held a series of hearings with more scheduled. The House Resources Committee is expected to hold a markup of a bill on May 23. Anything you can do to let your congressmen, particularly on the House Resources Committee, know how important oil and gas development is to your state's economy, including oil and natural gas produced from public lands, would be extremely helpful.

Read more

Briefs

  • There will be a few new faces and a few missing, in committee meetings this year.

    Dan Seamount, of Alaska, joins the Steering Committee in place of Mark Fesmire, of New Mexico, whose term ended April 1st. James Welsh, of Louisiana and Elizabeth Ames Jones, of Texas will be joining the Resolutions Committee in place of John Norman, of Alaska and David Fleischaker, of Oklahoma.

    The IOGCC would like to welcome the new committee members and we look forward to seeing great input from all of you soon. At the same time we would like to thank all of the resigning committee members for their contributions and continued efforts to further the work of the commission.

  • The IOGCC has found a way to reduce the waste from headquarters by donating paper, newspapers, magazines and other paper products to a local school. Putnam City school district holds a recycling contest for school's wishing to participate. The school's that participate receive $1,000 for participation. On average the schools earn about $150 per month, sometimes more. The IOGCC is excited to be able to assist in such a wonderful cause and to help give back to the community.

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