H.R. 767: to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to modify the Pilot Project offices of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project

H.R. 767

to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to modify the Pilot Project offices of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
May 15, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 767, a bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to modify the Pilot Project offices of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on February 15, 2013 by Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark up and reported the bill by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 767 amends the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project to modify the Pilot Project offices by replacing the Field Offices in Miles City, Montana and Buffalo, Wyoming with the Montana/Dakotas State Office located in Billings, Montana and the High Plains District Office in Casper, Wyoming, respectively.

Background

Section 365 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 established the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project to improve coordination of oil and gas permitting on Federal lands. The 2005 legislation identified offices in Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah as pilot project offices. As a result of this project, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been able to reduce the backlog of Applications for Permits to Drill (APD) filed by companies in these offices.  Moreover, the permitting and inspection processes have been streamlined. The numbers of inspections and APDs processed in these offices have increased and BLM’s responsiveness to stakeholders has improved.

However, due to technicalities in current law, funds for the Pilot Program have not been able to be used at all of the relevant BLM offices.  As such, the Pilot Program has not been able to handle as many permits as possible.  By specifying higher level offices (i.e., district or state offices versus field offices), the funds will be able to be used more widely.

Cost

CBO estimates that H.R. 767 “would have no significant cost to the federal government.”