Thursday, February 16, 2012

UPDATE: Group takes aim at Lamborn

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM

UPDATE:
Rep. Doug Lamborn's spokesperson, Catherine Mortensen, sends the following to refute criticism of the shale bill that Lamborn is proposing:

The PIONEERS Act WILL:

· Create consistent, clear policies that businesses can rely on to move forward for investment of U.S. oil shale resources

· Create American jobs in research and development of oil shale

Why PIONEERS Act is needed:

· The U.S. Geological Service estimates the total U.S. oil shale resources to be six times Saudi Arabia’s current proven oil reserves

· The Obama Administration has repeatedly delayed and hindered development of oil shale — at the expense of American jobs, our economy and energy.

o On February 3, 2012, the Obama Administration released their plan to close over a million acres of federal land to oil shale development. The Obama Administration has a plan to lock-up U.S. energy resources and send jobs overseas. This is just one more example to add to the ever-growing list of Obama Administration actions that block U.S. energy production.

Congressional Budget Office — Fiscal impact of PIONEERS Act

The independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the bill will not bring in any additional revenues to the federal treasury in the form of royalty payments. The CBO does not project revenues beyond a ten year period. Industry experts agree that oil shale is a long term investment and will not produce significant revenues in the form of royalties for at least ten years.

Royalty Payments under PIONEERS Act

The bill is on a graduated tiered system for increasing royalty rates. After the first 5 years of enactment, the royalty rates will increase by 1 percent each year until it reaches the rate of 12.5 percent, which is the royalty rate for traditional onshore oil and gas leases. This will bring in additional revenue to the treasury.
Statement from Congressman Doug Lamborn
“Oil Shale is one of the most promising new sources of American-made energy and the United States is fortunate to have an abundance of oil shale resources. These resources are an important component of America’s energy future. This bill removes the uncertainty from oil shale development and opens up land for both research and commercial development of oil shale. It contributes to our energy security, and creates good paying American jobs for thousands of Americans.”
Specifically, the PIONEERS Act:
Directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue additional Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) leases within 180 days after enactment according to the lease terms published on January 15, 2009.
Directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue at least 5 separate commercial lease sales by January 1, 2016.
Makes permanent the Resource Management Plan amendments and commercial oil shale regulations published guidelines by the Department in November 2008 and apply them to all commercial leasing for the management of federally owned oil shale. This will provide regulatory certainty to companies looking to invest in oil shale.
Requires the Secretary when practicable to encourage the use of U.S. workers and equipment in all construction related to energy and mineral development.

————— ORIGINAL POST, 10:37 a.m., WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15 —————

An environmental and watchdog group, the Checks and Balances Project, is calling out Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on their support of oil shale drilling as an answer to highway funding.

The release, which went out Tuesday:

An online ad campaign which links back to the video starts this afternoon in National Journal, Politico, The Hill, and the Colorado Springs Gazette, the largest daily newspaper in Rep. Lamborn’s home district.

“Speaker Boehner and Rep. Lamborn are selling the American public a bill of goods. Since there is no commercial oil shale industry, there is zero energy, zero revenue, and zero jobs in oil shale,” said Matt Garrington, Colorado-based co-director of the Checks and Balances Project.

Oil shale contains no actual oil and is a rock located in the western United States. The rock contains kerogen, a precursor to oil. Industry has failed to create a commercial oil shale industry despite 100 years of research and billions in investments and taxpayer-funded subsidies.

Shell Oil, which is recognized to be at the forefront of oil shale research, states that a “commercial [oil shale] decision would be in the middle of the next decade and possibly later”.

Rep. Lamborn’s bill, H.R. 3408, would attempt to advance oil shale speculation by handing over two million acres of public lands to oil companies and mandating commercial leasing on 125,000 acres despite the fact that no commercial oil shale industry exists.

The Speaker has designated Rep. Lamborn oil shale legislation as a funding source for his controversial highway funding package, H.R. 7.

The ad campaign follows on the heels of an amendment filed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) which would strike the oil shale legislation from the highway bill and is poised to set up a House floor showdown between the Colorado representatives.

The group also delivered a letter to the Speaker’s office this morning calling for the Speaker and Rep. Lamborn to explain why oil shale is included in the highway funding package despite receiving a zero revenue score by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

“We respectfully request an explanation to the American taxpayer of this disconnect between fact and rhetoric,” wrote Garrington.

Earlier this month, Rep. Lamborn told The Denver Post that oil shale “is not a real contributor to the highway transportation needs we have.”

Ironically, the legislation actually creates a new subsidy for oil companies by setting “bargain basement” royalty rates for oil shale. This means that should oil shale ever actually be developed, local governments would have less revenue to address the costs associated with increased energy development such as new schools, hospitals, fire, law enforcement, hospitals, roads, and other utilities.

The group spent about $30,000 on the online ad and video campaign which runs over the next three days.

Meantime, Lamborn is hosting an interactive telephone town hall Wednesday night, in case you want to weigh in on the shale issue or another one.

I invite you to join me for a discussion on the latest from Washington. I will be providing a brief update on my efforts to cut wasteful government spending, protect our national defense, and open up American energy reserves. We'll also discuss President Obama's 2013 Budget.
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Time: 6:30 pm MT

Subject: Washington Update, President's 2013 Budget, questions and answers

To Participate: (888) 886-6603 Ext.18020#

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