Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rep. Gardner introduces legislation to ease access to Alaskan energy

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CD4) has offered a discussion draft of the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act, which would eliminate needless permitting delays that have stalled important energy production opportunities off the coast of Alaska. It is the latest in a series of legislative proposals through Republicans’ American Energy Initiative to increase the production of American-made energy.

“This bill will create tens of thousands of jobs, increase energy security, and lessen our dependence on foreign oil,” Rep. Gardner said. “It will add billions of dollars in salary to Alaska and other states over the next several decades, bringing good paying jobs to our country.”

Confusion and uncertainty surrounding the EPA’s decision making process for air permits is delaying energy exploration in the Alaskan Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Permits that have already been granted by the EPA are stalled by the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), sometimes for years.

Gardner’s bill aims to remove the duplication created by EPA and EAB permitting process. Rather than allowing the back and forth between the two, the EPA would be required to take a final action on all permits within six month of the request. Any appeals will go to the D.C. Circuit Court for resolution. By streamlining the permitting process, Gardner says that more than 1 million barrels of oil a day can be pumped from Alaska to the rest of the country, easing our demand on foreign oil and decreasing our oil imports by 10 percent.

No comments:

Post a Comment