News

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt expressed increasing certainty that potentially multiple agencies under his administration would see significant staff, if not entire the entire headquarters, moved west, out of Washington, D.C. Bernhardt testified Wednesday before the Democratically-controlled House Natural Resources committee.

A reporter barred from attending a climate event organized by the Sunrise Movement and headlined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke out today, as reporters from across the country took issue with the group’s decision to shut out someone how regularly covers climate issues. Josh Siegel, an energy and environment reporter for the Washington Examiner, argued he was not allowed access to the event because he reports for the outlet, ostensibly because of its editorial lean.

NREL

The largest oil and gas company in the world and a Colorado national research laboratory announced a groundbreaking agreement Wednesday to advance lower-emissions technologies to combat climate change. ExxonMobil has pledged up to $100 million over the next ten years in a partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and other Department of Energy laboratories across the country with a focus on “developing transformative advanced energy technologies with a focus on reducing emissions.”

Two leading Democratic lawmakers told representatives from the oil and gas industry that the newly-enacted overhaul of Colorado’s oil and gas regulations will mean more stability and remove the need for state ballot measures in the coming years during a legislative reception Tuesday. Their Republican colleagues cautioned the conflicts are now shifted to local officials. Remarks made by House Majority Leader Alec Garnett and Senator Rachel Zenzinger during the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s (COGA) annual end-of-session panel echoed those of Gov. Jared Polis who, after signing SB 181 last month, declared that “it is our hope that the oil and gas wars that have enveloped our state are over.”

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A state agency’s denial on Monday of a critical water permit under federal law and the lack of support from state energy offices in western states could threaten to shut down a liquefied natural gas export terminal meant to draw the fuel from western states and ship to customers across the world, including Asia, resulting in billions in missed economic gains and the loss of critical rural jobs. The decision by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality to not certify the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal using the Clean Water Act could halt or delay the production and further development of resources in the Uinta basin in Utah and the Piceance Basin in Colorado.

BLM

The Bureau of Land Management had a record year for revenues from onshore oil and gas lease sales, as well as production in 2018, according to data released by the agency this week. Pointing to streamlined permitting processes, the U.S. produced more than 214 million barrels of oil on federally managed public lands while utilizing the smallest acreage footprint of leases since 1985.

An Interior Department employee touted the progress made in improving communications and stakeholder engagement across the department’s numerous agencies in a congressional hearing Tuesday, while a former employee criticized the handling of the reorganization launched under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, while another. Democrats at the House Natural Resources Committee held a Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing titled, “No Road Map, No Destination, No Justification: The Implementation and Impacts of the Reorganization of the Department of the Interior” earlier in the day.


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