AAPL Governmental Affairs Report - week of January 25, 2021

  • 1.  AAPL Governmental Affairs Report - week of January 25, 2021

    Posted 01-25-2021 08:05
    Following please find highlights from the AAPL Governmental Affairs Report for the week of January 25, 2021. The next report will be published on February 8, 2021. With increased governmental activity and a high volume of executive actions coming from the new Biden administration, breaking updates may also be posted to this forum in the interim period between reports.  

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    FEDERAL EXECUTIVE ACTIONS: President Biden Executive Orders. Since taking office, President Joe Biden (D) has issued a raft of executive orders to overturn policies of the prior Trump administration. One in particular specifically affects the oil and gas industry, and by extension, the landman profession. In particular, Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis (January 20, 2021), addresses multiple administrative and regulatory policies detailed as follows. The Order first requires the “Immediate Review of Agency Actions Taken Between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.” This will invariably include many oil and gas related agency actions to be reviewed and once the agency reviews are completed they may result in the “suspending, revising, or rescinding the agency actions.” The Order also details 17 specific executive actions affecting the industry and which are covered more fully in the report.

    State Land Office COVID Lease Extensions – New Mexico. On December 17, 2020, the New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) announced it is extending their temporary COVID extension program for an additional three months, into March 2021, recognizing that ongoing disruptions in oil and gas development logistics still exist due to the pandemic. According to the SLO, three-month COVID lease extensions are available to lessees and SLO “may grant the extension after a review of whether the lease is in good standing. The SLO will verify whether a bond is on file, whether royalties are up to date, and whether the lease is currently active. The SLO will verify whether open spills or compliance actions exist. One three-month extension is available. The Commissioner may grant an additional extension, in her sole discretion, upon a showing of good cause.” Read more.

    INDUSTRY NEWS: Texas oil and gas industry pays out billions. Even during a difficult year, the Texas oil and gas industry paid $13.9 billion in taxes and state royalties in Fiscal Year 2020, according to the Texas Oil and Gas Association. This falls a few billion short, however, of the record-setting $16.3 billion in taxes and royalties paid in 2019. Read more.

    Russell Cohen
    AAPL Governmental Affairs