The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives recently held a full week of hearings on Capitol Hill, many of which had direct implications for the technology and services sector of the oil and gas industry.
On April 27, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to address the tax code’s challenges and potential advantages for energy transition and new economic development. Senators and expert witnesses highlighted the need to promote clean energy development through carbon capture and storage, maintaining a low corporate tax rate and the continuation of permitting for energy development on federal lands, all of which are at risk with the Biden Administration’s tax plan.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee also held a hearing to discuss the Department of the Interior’s onshore oil and gas leasing program. Senators from both parties expressed concern about the economic and environmental impact of a permanent ban of the Federal leasing program. Expert witnesses emphasized the ban’s effects on the local economies and revenue streams in states with large Federal lands programs. Many Senators suggested a balanced approach that prioritizes renewables alongside development of cleaner burning fuels, to ensure energy security and environmental safety.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee held hearings on the fiscal year 2022 budget proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Administrator Michael Reagan explained the role of the EPA in advancing the Biden Administration’s climate and environmental goals. Senators acknowledged the far-reaching emissions targets set by President Biden, but many asked for assurances that new regulations would not hamper economic growth and job recovery in energy rich areas.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Tommy P. Beaudreau as Deputy Interior Secretary. Senators questioned Beaudreau on a wide range of issues, and he articulated what he expects his role to be in advancing the overall mission of the Interior Department. The Federal lands leasing moratorium was addressed by several Senators. Beaudreau did not provide any new clarity on the scope of the ban, but he promised to give the review of the oil and gas leasing program his fullest attention if confirmed.
If you would like to become involved in the Council’s advocacy efforts or join the Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.
Deidre Kohlrus, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.