In a letter to American energy policy leaders, governors of 10 oil and natural gas producing states announced their support of the States First Initiative – an effort aimed at supporting and enhancing the role of the states as the primary and appropriate regulators of oil and gas development.
“Our programs, which are as varied as the geography, climate, geology and social fabric of our states, are designed to be flexible, yet effective, in providing the world’s best environmental protection and regulation,” the letter stated. “The states’ ability to design effective regulations that reflect state-specific needs is a vital element in the resurgence of our nation’s oil and natural gas industry.”
States First is a partnership between the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission and the Ground Water Protection Council, two state-led organizations representing governors and state regulators. Supporting states produce the majority of the oil and natural gas in the United States and include Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama, Gov. Steven L. Beshear of Kentucky, Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Gov. Sean Parnell of Alaska, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada.
The initiative includes the formation of a state oil and gas regulatory exchange that will allow experts to meet emerging regulatory challenges and solve unique problems in oil and gas producing states.
States First launched its Web site, www.statesfirstinitiative.org, Twitter profile, @States1st, and YouTube channel, States1st, in an effort to educate the public about state oil and gas regulation and to provide updates on initiative supporting states and their programs. Additionally, visitors can watch governors and regulators speak about topics such as environmental protection, economic development, transparency and more through a series of online videos.