American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015 - 124

federal estate."
Among other species under ESA consideration, Sattelberg mentioned one that
he said would cover most of the country.
"One of the up-and-coming species we
are looking at is the monarch butterfly,"
he reported. "Basically, it is in all of the
continental United States and all 23
Wyoming counties. There was a substantial 90-day finding. It is a high priority
for our director, Dan Ashe, so you may
want to keep your eyes on that."

Senator Mike Enzi (left), R-Wy., pauses
with PAW Chairman Randy Harris before
the general session on the second day
of PAW's 2015 annual convention. During
his remarks, the Senator contrasted requirements and incentives that limit regulatory growth in Canada with the lack
of any such protections in the United
States.

By contrast, he said, under the core
area strategy, "only 4.5 percent of producing wells are inside core areas. For
gas it is less than 1 percent, and for oil it
is 8.3 percent. There is quite a dramatic
difference between a listing determination"
and the Wyoming executive order.
USFWS Field Supervisor Mark Sattelberg told PAW the greater sage grouse
listing decision would appear in the Federal Register soon, and praised Wyoming's
rangewide conservation efforts. "If the
service does determine a sage grouse
listing is not warranted, we expect conservation efforts to continue," he advised.
"It will be only a matter of time before
litigation begins."
On the other hand, he said, a rider on
the Department of Interior appropriations
bill in the U.S. House of Representatives
would prevent USFWS from drafting
sage grouse regulations in the event of a
listing. Nevertheless, he assured PAW a
listing would not be catastrophic.
"Daily life, including economic development, would not shut down in the
affected range," he insisted. "On federal
lands, we will have to consult with federal
land managers about potential development to ensure activities do not undermine
the conservation efforts and land management plans. For state and private
lands, there are a variety of flexible and
effective tools under ESA that can be
implemented for conservation while still
allowing landowners to develop their resources. However, to be clear, there will
be restrictions and limitations on land
use and disturbance, especially on the

Undercounted Costs
Senator Enzi pointed out to PAW that
Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, RWy., and Senator John Barrasso, R-Wy.,
each chaired the Western Caucus in their
respective chambers, which he said helped
to boost Wyoming's clout in Congress.
He indicated he had been working with
them to form a coalition with lawmakers
representing states without high proportions of public land. "Our whole delegation
works together regularly," Enzi related.
"That allows us to cover your issues better."
In regard to regulatory reform, Enzi
borrowed inspiration from the United
States' northern neighbor. "Canada has
to get rid of one regulation before it can
add a new one, and it requires a cost/benefit
analysis that prevents the government
from replacing a cheap regulation with
an expensive one," he described.
Canadian agencies also are encouraged
to re-examine old regulations, and receive
credit for eliminating any that are obsolete,
he continued. "That is the only incentive
I have ever encountered for government
to go back and look at the old stuff,"
Enzi marveled. "We want to put in some
ledgers like that to encourage our government to look at old regulations and
executive orders. That might make a difference."
During his remarks, Barrasso noted
that U.S. regulatory agencies were supposed to include cost/benefit analyses
with their proposed rules, but he questioned
the rigor of those being done today. "In
so many ways, they forget that the costs
are real and the benefits are unproven,"
he characterized. "They ignore or understate many of the costs and exaggerate
the benefits."
Barrasso also wondered how courtroom
victories that confirmed claims an Obama
administration rule exceeded its statutory
underpinning still could prove hollow.
"The regulations have been out for years
and already are impacting companies because they cannot make decisions based
on the possibility of winning a lawsuit
years later," he stated. "I think that is the
way this administration does business:

124 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

Senator John Barrasso (left), R-Wy.,
chats Bill Schilling of the Wyoming Business Alliance between sessions at PAW's
2015 annual convention. During his presentation, Barrasso suggested federal
regulators tended to exaggerate a proposed regulation's benefits and underestimate its costs.

Ignore the law, come out with regulations,
and after the Supreme Court strikes them
down, the administration still acts as if it
won because people are obeying the regulations. That is not helping our economy."

BLM Budget
Michael Madrid, acting deputy state
director, minerals & lands for the U.S.
Bureau of Land Management, noted that
the 2015 fiscal year was scheduled to
end Sept. 30, but that Congress had not
passed an FY 2016 budget.
"We are planning to operate at FY
2015 levels under a continuing resolution,"
he reported. "However, Congress passed
the BLM Permit Processing Improvement
Act of 2014. That raised the processing
fee for applications for permits to drill to
$9,500. I asked the budget folks if that
would be put on hold, pending a budget,
and was told the new fee would go into
effect Oct. 1. That is supposed to help
fund the BLM; 15 percent of that money
will go to the office where the APD originated."
He later indicated that BLM planned
to streamline APDs and eliminate the
backlog by directing resources to the offices that most needed them. "We could
shift people from our offices with less
activity to busier offices on what probably
would be a temporary basis," Madrid explained. "I wish I could promise that
raising the fee would guarantee a quicker
APD turnaround, but I am not willing to
say that."
❒

Coming In November

Special Report:
MWD, LWD & Formation Evaluation



American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015 - 3
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2015 - Contents
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