US House passes legislation to impede offshore drilling

On 11 September, the US House passed H.R. 1941, the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, legislation that bars offshore drilling in federal waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It also passed H.R. 205, the Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, to permanently extend the GOMESA moratorium on oil and gas activities in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

In response, IADC issued a statement expressing industry’s strong concerns and noting that rising energy needs in the US should be considered.

US house votes to bar development in ANWR

On 12 September, the US House voted, 225 to 193, to advance H.R. 1146, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, to reverse the enacting clause opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

In response, IADC issued a statement noting that banning oil and gas leasing around the coastal plain of ANWR would have significant impact on the Alaskan economy, as well as the US Treasury.

EPA Proposes Updates to Air Regulations for Oil and Gas

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed updates to national standards for the oil and gas industry to remove regulatory duplication and save the industry millions of dollars in compliance costs.

In its primary proposal, EPA would remove sources in the transmission and storage segment of the oil and gas industry from regulation. These sources include transmission compressor stations, pneumatic controllers and underground storage vessels.

It would rescind emissions limits for methane from the production and processing segments, but would keep emissions limits for ozone-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

In an alternative proposal, the EPA would rescind the methane emissions limitations without removing from regulation any sources from the transmission and storage segment of the industry.

US Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Committee Holds Annual Security Exercise

The Gulf of Mexico Maritime Security Committee recently held its annual security exercise. The tabletop exercise gave participants the opportunity to discuss the capabilities, resources and procedures required to respond to cybersecurity threat scenarios that may occur during operations on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf. ADM John Nadeau, 8th District Commander, addressed the need for participants to remain persistent in developing collaborative efforts to address the breadth of cyber concerns.

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