Natural Resources Committee passes Alaska oil and gas bill

Source: House Natural Resources Committee

Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 2150, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act, by a bipartisan vote of 28 to 14.

The Alaska oil and gas bill will unlock the full potential of energy resources in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) by eliminating bureaucratic hurdles that prevent the construction of critical roads, bridges and pipelines needed to transport energy out of the Reserve once it’s produced. As part of House Republicans’ American Energy Initiative, this legislation will create new jobs, support current energy jobs in Alaska, and help lower energy costs by ensuring NPR-A resources are developed and transported in a timely and efficient manner. 

“The passage of this bill signifies the bipartisan support for increased American energy production and recognition that the NPR-A should be used as intended – as a petroleum reserve to provide energy to the American people," said Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). "Alaska has tremendous energy resources that are being kept under lock-and-key because of the Obama Administration’s policies."

"As families and small businesses throughout the country continue to struggle with high gasoline prices, it’s absurd that bureaucratic red tape is responsible for delaying this American energy project for years," he continued. "There is bipartisan support for leasing in the NPR-A, but true support requires more than just words. This bill will take real steps to ensure oil and natural gas can be transported out of the reserve and help keep the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) full and functional. I am pleased my colleagues have joined me in support of this bill, recognizing its importance to American job creation and our national security." 

The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act

Affirms that the NPR-A is explicitly designated for the purpose of providing oil and natural gas resources to the United States. 

Requires that annual lease sales be held in the NPR-A in areas with the most oil and natural gas resources. 

Sets firm timelines for infrastructure permits to be approved to ensure that bureaucratic delays do not prevent oil and natural gas resources from being transported out of the NPR-A. It establishes a 60 day timeframe to approve infrastructure permits for leases where the Secretary has already issued a permit to drill and a 6 month timeframe to approve infrastructure permits for all other existing and future Federal leases. 

Requires the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a right-of-way plan detailing how existing and future leases will be within 25 miles of an approved road or pipeline. 

Requires an updated comprehensive assessment, in consultation with the State of Alaska and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, of all oil and natural gas resources in the NPR-A.



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