AAPL Governmental Affairs Report - Week of March 22, 2021

  • 1.  AAPL Governmental Affairs Report - Week of March 22, 2021

    Posted 03-22-2021 10:49
    Following please find highlights from the AAPL Governmental Affairs Report for the week of March 22, 2021. The next report will be published on April 5, 2021. With increased governmental activity and a high volume of executive actions coming from the Biden administration, breaking updates may also be posted in this forum during the interim period between reports.  

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    FEDERAL - LEGISLATIVE: H. Res. 125. On March 9, official bill text was made available for H. Res. 125, which was filed in response to President Biden’s recent executive orders declaring a climate emergency and forthcoming policies directly affecting the oil and gas industry and the economy. The measure, introduced by Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), “(1) opposes use of the National Emergencies Act to declare a so-called ‘climate emergency’; (2) recognizes that any policy-making action taken to address global climate conditions should be undertaken by the legislative branch, not through unilateral executive action; (3) recognizes that addressing global climate conditions through the National Emergencies Act would violate the purpose of the Act as well as separation of powers; and (4) opposes executive actions that would increase the United States dependence on foreign oil, deprive Americans of jobs, increase consumer costs, or disadvantage the United States relative to adversarial nations such as Russia and China.” While House resolutions are not binding law, though they can express the collective sentiment of the House on a particular issue, person, or event. “Our Nation does not need more dictator-style executive orders from President Biden. Already, he has unilaterally killed thousands of jobs with his plethora of executive actions,” said Rep. Pfluger, who represents the Permian Basin region. “Our district is one of the main reasons a climate emergency is not needed. Thanks to American ingenuity and clean burning natural gas, the United States of America has already reduced CO2 emissions to a 20-year low.” Read more.

    FEDERAL - REGULATORY: Interior Department Federal Oil and Gas Program. On March 9, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced it will be conducting a “comprehensive study of whether -- and how -- the U.S. government sells drilling rights on federal land and waters, a review that could chart the future of U.S. energy development for decades to come.” The study is reportedly in response to appeals from both oil and gas industry leaders and environmentalists who have pressed the Biden administration for clarity on the leasing review. As a first step in the process, the Interior Department will hold a virtual forum on March 25 (click here for information on attending) on the future of leasing and to hear from industry representatives, environmental justice groups, and natural resource advocates. Read more.

    FEDERAL - JUDICIAL: Keystone XL Pipeline – Texas. On March 17, attorneys general from 21 states, led by Texas and Montana, sued the Biden administration over its cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit. The complaint argues that revoking the permit is a “regulation of interstate and international commerce” that should be left to Congress and that Biden’s unilateral move through executive order was an overreach and “arbitrary and capricious.” In Texas v. Biden (Case No. 3:21-cv-00065), the states are asking the court to rule that Biden lacked the legal authority to prohibit TC Energy from constructing and operating the Keystone XL cross-border facilities other than through the lawful exercise of statutory authority and stop the administration from taking any action to enforce, implement, or otherwise put into effect the decision revoking TC Energy’s permit to construct and operate Keystone XL cross-border facilities, among other relief sought. Unlike the current administration, President Trump “championed the pipeline, issuing a permit allowing it to cross the border during the first months of his presidency.” Read more.

    Russell Cohen
    AAPL Governmental Affairs