The National Wildlife Federation

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National Wildlife Federation Endorses Legislation to Reform Oil and Gas Leasing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, the National Wildlife Federation’s Tracy Stone-Manning praised five bills that would reform and modernize the federal oil and gas leasing system, update methane regulations, and restore balanced management to our nation’s public lands so that wildlife and local communities will thrive for generations to come.

“The system is broken and the bills considered today will go a long way to fixing critical, common-sense needs: safeguarding our clean air and clean water, protecting taxpayers, and ensuring more efficient and transparent government,” Stone-Manning, senior advisor for conservation at the National Wildlife Federation, told the subcommittee. “These overdue reforms address an industry that for too long has had an outsized influence on our public lands, often at the expense of wildlife and people.”

The suite of bills, which were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, include:

  • The Taxpayer Fairness for Resource Development Act, which will modernize fiscal policies by eliminating noncompetitive leasing and increasing royalty rates, rental fees, and minimum bid amounts. 
  • The Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act, which will restore environmental and public review of oil and gas lease sales 
  • The Bonding Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act, which will ensure that all wells are properly reclaimed, that the American tax payer is not responsible for these costs, and that local communities do not suffer from the health, safety, and environmental risks posed by un-reclaimed wells.
  • The Transparency in Energy Production Act, which will give the American people information about impacts from drilling on the land or in the water.
  • The Methane Waste Prevention Act, which will require oil and gas producers to capture methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas that is up to 80% more potent than carbon dioxide and one of the leading contributors to global warming.

“Our public lands provide us natural resources, but also clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, and abundant recreational opportunities,” said Stone-Manning. “They are a gift that each generation must caretake and pass along to the future. But they are in trouble: wildlife is in decline, wildfires and drought are on the rise. We have to restore balance and leave these precious assets better off than we found them. The reforms considered today are a critical component of that overall task.”

Tracy Stone-Manning’s full testimony can be viewed here.


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