ENERGY BRIEFING: Bipartisan Senators Release Land Lease Bill | Bloomberg government (2023)

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A bipartisan duo of senators is revealinglegislationtoday, that would make companies pay more for oil and gas leases on federal land, a day after the Biden administration began a comprehensive study of whether and how the US sells those rights, reports Kellie Lunney.

Sens.Jacky Rosen(D-Nev.) eChuck Grassley(R-Iowa) are enacting the “Fair Returns for Public Lands Act,” which would increase the fees oil and gas companies pay to lease onshore, including raising the royalty rate to 18.75% from the current rate of 12.5%. The bill, which is supplementary legislation to a Democratic Partyhouse bill, would also increase the rental rate for such leases and the national minimum bid per acre.

Grassley and former Senator Tom Udall (DN.M.) introduced the legislation in the last session of Congress.

Rosen said it is time to update a "broken" oil and gas program that needs to provide a better return to taxpayers to "fund critical education, infrastructure and public health projects".

Grassley said lawmakers should "close this loophole in oil companies, end corporate welfare and bring oil leasing into the 21st century." The onshore oil and gas leasing fee structure hasn't been updated in decades, and the royalty rate is a century old.

Yesterday in the House, Democrats on the Energy Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee championed oil and gas reform on five public lands.accountswhich propose raising production royalty rates, eliminating non-competitive leasing, stopping methane releases and other measures, reports Bobby Magill.

Classification subcommittee memberPete Stauber(R-Minn.) accused Democrats of heeding Biden's call to suspend oil and gas leases on federal lands and of succumbing to the left's "environmental privilege" while rural areas are harmed by "radical activists" seeking undermine high-paying jobs in the oil industry.

“The blockade of federal lands will not reduce the demand for oil and gas”, said the deputy.Bruce Westerman(R-Ark.), senior full committee member.

Meanwhile, the Interior Department said it would hold a leasing forum as it outlined its first formal steps on the review yesterday, about six weeks after President Joe Biden ordered the agency to halt the sale of oil and gas leases. The move responds to pleas from both oil industry leaders and environmentalists who have pressed management for clarity in the lease review,Jennifer A. Dlouhy Reports.

Biden's EPA Pick Set for Senate Vote

The Senate plans a procedural vote today on Michael Regan, Biden's choice to lead the EPA. The House plans to vote after 2:15 pm. to limit debate on the nomination to a final vote on confirmation.

If confirmed, Regan will enter a beleaguered workplace filled with tired and skeptical employees, current employees say.

For many — but not all — EPA officials, Biden's election signaled a return to fundamental environmental principles. But they also say they are not taking the new administration's promises at face value and that Regan will have to prove to them that the EPA will deliver.

Morale at the agency has vastly improved since the Trump administration, but many employees still hope the administration will repudiate a union contract that was established during Andrew Wheeler's tenure and remains in effect, said Nicole Cantello, EPA attorney for the agency's Midwest. . region and president of the American Federation of Local Government Officials 704 in Chicago.

Bloomberg Law spoke with a dozen current EPA employees, who said they saw little sign of change in their daily work lives. Most employees did not want to be identified in order to speak freely.Read more from Stephen Lee.

Happening on the Hill

Daines will delay the Senate vote on Haaland for the Interior:Senate Republicans took steps to delay confirmation of Biden's nominee for interior secretary, citingDeb Haalandlongstanding opposition to oil and gas development. Sen.Steve Daines(R-Mont.) eCynthia Lummis(R-Wyo.) put “holds” on the vote, forcing a Senate debate and procedural vote. It's a parliamentary measure that will delay but is unlikely to prevent Haaland's eventual confirmation to lead the Interior Department, given his support among Democrats and a handful of Republicans. The measure underscores the deep opposition of many Senate Republicans to the Biden administration's plans to manage the nation's federal lands and waters.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) yesterday scheduled a procedural vote on Haaland's nomination for Thursday, meaning a final confirmation vote will likely take place early next week.Read more from Jennifer A. Dlouhy.

Oregon Democrats aim to protect landowners from eminent domains:Sens.Ron WydeneJeff Merkleyyesterday reintroduced legislation that would make it harder for companies to claim eminent domain over private and state property in the construction of natural gas pipelines, reports Kellie Lunney. Wyden's bill, the "Land Owner Justice Act,” would strengthen landowners' rights in eminent domain cases and guide companies and FERC to provide better and more timely information to affected landowners. Merkley'sEnding the Land Seizure Law for Export Profits by Natural Gas Companies” would prohibit companies from claiming eminent domain on private land to build export pipelines. It would also clarify that the federal government does not have the authority to allow companies to use eminent domains to seize state land for pipelines.

Pennsylvania lawmakers prepare mine clearance bill:Representatives.Matt Cartwright(D-Pa.) eGlenn Thompson(R-Pa.) will reintroduce a bill today to reauthorize a trust fund that pays to clean up the nation's $10 billion backlog in abandoned mines that are leaching pollution into soil and water, reports Stephen Lee. Abandoned Mine Land trust, which charges a fee on coal production to pay for cleanup, is set to expire in September. If not extended, the money will run out almost immediately. Supporters of the trust fund also say it spurs economic growth in hard-hit coal communities. However, mining lobbies such as the National Mining Association have long opposed the levy imposed on coal companies.

Today's Audiences:

  • Rail, Environment:The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Rail, Pipeline, and Hazardous Materials plans a hearing onrail transport and economic and environmental progress.
  • Climate Change, Electricity:The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meets for a hearing on climate change, the electricity sector and economic growth. Witnesses include Franklin Rusco, director of natural resources, environmental and energy issues at the Government Accountability Office; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; President and CEO of Xcel Energy, Ben Fowke; INGAA's vice-president of the environment, Sandra Snyder; and James Wood, director of the Energy Institute at West Virginia University.
  • Water Infrastructure:House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Holds Hearing on Innovation and Investment inwater resources infrastructure.
  • EPA Mission:The House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations convenes for a hearing on theMission of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Energy and Natural Resources

Duke releases some information about climate lobbying:Duke Energy, the largest US utility, yesterday released some details of its climate lobbying activities, after an investor pressed the company for more disclosure. In a 10-page report, Duke identified the broad climate policy positions of eight trade associations of which it is a member, ranging from the US Chamber of Commerce to the American Gas Association. The associations' policies were in line with its own goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, but it did not detail the specific lobbying activities of these groups. Duke has also not disclosed his direct political activities.

The report may fall short of the kind of disclosure required by Mercy Investment Services, which filed a shareholder resolution seeking information on how Duke's lobbying aligns with global efforts to fight climate change. Mercy withdrew the resolution before receiving the report, according to its website.Read more from Saijel Kishan and Josh Saul.

More headlines:

  • Biden DOJ Supports PennEast Pipeline in Supreme Court Battle
  • Texas energy crisis takes only power to court protection
  • Rutgers fund to exit fossil fuel investments in 10 years
  • In their own words, big oil companies warm the climate and prevent growth
  • Concern over atomic safety is increasingly used as a political weapon.

Environment and Chemicals

Kerry sees revival of EU ties on climate:A renewed alliance between the United States and the European Union on climate issues could change the dynamics of crucial global negotiations, encouraging China and other big polluters to step up their efforts to cut emissions, said U.S. climate envoy John Kerry. The new US administration and the 27-nation bloc are strengthening ties in the fight against global warming, a sign that major international alliances will be key to making a decisive summit in November a success. Kerry arrived in Brussels yesterday and discussed green diplomatic outreach with senior European Commission officials.

“Together, Europe and the United States represent two of the largest markets in the world,” he said in an interview. “And if these two markets, represented by their large corporations that sell and do business around the world, agree that this is an urgent priority and that we need to address it, we need to address it sensibly.”Leia mais de Ewa Krukowska.

Former Clinton aide to lobby on ESG:Kris Balderston, a former senior adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is joining top lobbying firm ACG as a strategic partner, where he will advise the firm and manage its environmental, social and governance practices, reports Megan R. Wilson. He hails from FleishmanHillard, where he served as president of global public affairs and general manager of the Washington office. Prior to that, he served as the Special Representative for Global Partnerships in the Global Partnership Initiative in the Office of the Secretary of State during the Obama administration. He also worked for Clinton in the Senate, serving as her legislative director and later deputy chief of staff. His resume also includes work at the White House, the National Governor's Association and the Department of Labor.

Chesapeake Bay restoration dataset:Defenders of Wildlife and the Chesapeake Conservancy released a dataset that maps collections of ground-mounted solar panels to better understand how solar power is being built in the watershed, the group said in a statement. Preliminary data can be viewed in a web mapping applicationhere. “Using artificial intelligence to map resources like solar panels is a breakthrough for land use management, conservation and renewable energy,” said Michael Evans, senior conservation data scientist at Defenders of Wildlife.

More headlines:

  • Some water well permits in California require environmental review
  • The plaintiffs of the child climate case intend to reformulate the process after the defeat

with the help ofMegan R. Wilson,Bobby Magill, eStephen Lee

To contact reporters for this story:Kellie Lunneyin Washington;Zachary Sherwoodin Washington

To contact the editors responsible for this story:Jose;Michaela

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