The energy bill, which is currently stalled in Congress but likely to be resurrected early this year, would put major emphasis on public-lands energy development:
creates the Office of Federal Energy Project Coordination within
the White House. That office would assist federal agencies such as
the Bureau of Land Management "in their efforts to expedite their
review of permits" and "accelerate the completion of energy-related
It establishes a "Federal Permit Streamlining
Pilot Project" for Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New
It directs the U.S. Geological Survey to reassess
"restrictions or impediments" to energy development on public
lands, including delays in granting leases and restrictions on
leases that are approved.
It gives the BLM only 10 days to
decide whether to grant a drilling application once it has been
It codifies in public law the requirement
that federal offices prepare an extensive document, called a
Statement of Adverse Energy Impact, when they reject energy
projects (HCN, 9/2/02: Bush’s energy plan).
exempts hydraulic fracturing fluid — which is used in oil and
gas drilling and can include diesel fuel and antifreeze ingredients
— from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (HCN,
10/27/03: Gas industry gets cracking).
It exempts oil and
gas construction activities — including bulldozing well pads
— from regulation under the Clean Water Act.
allows energy companies to deduct the costs of the environmental
analyses that are required for their projects from the royalties
they pay to the federal government.