DEPA Chairman Harold Hamm Says National Industry Group Supports Five-state Effort to Preserve Lesser-Prairie Chicken
Harold Hamm, DEPA chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, Inc., said the range-wide management plan (RWP) is the most cost-effective means to accomplish the goals of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Oklahoma City (I-Newswire) September 3, 2013 - The Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), a national independent oil and gas coalition, supports the efforts of state wildlife directors to preserve the lesser-prairie chicken and its habitat in a five-state region, as opposed to a "cap-and-trade" style proposal currently in development by Exxon Mobil and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Harold Hamm, DEPA chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, Inc., said the range-wide management plan (RWP) is the most cost-effective means to accomplish the goals of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the state wildlife agencies and other stakeholders, including energy, agriculture, utilities and other industries. DEPA is the first national oil and gas group to take a formal position on the issue.
"Adoption of the range-wide plan, plus the other guiding documents required among stakeholders, the states and FWS, is the common-sense solution that can preclude a listing of threatened or endangered for the lesser-prairie chicken," Hamm said this week on the heels of DEPA's executive committee vote endorsing the RWP.
Hamm asked why Exxon Mobil/EDF's land banking proposal to establish a "market-based system of land credits" to accomplish habitat restoration has the support of some state officials in Texas, when there are so many red flags, beginning with the fact that neither stakeholders nor the public have been made aware of the specifics. Hamm said the independent oil and gas industry - especially the smaller producers who are leasing and drilling with their own money - need certainty.
"We support working hand-in-hand with state wildlife agencies to solve these problems at the local and state levels as much as possible. We want assurances that as much of our financial resources as possible will be put into the ground in support of actual conservation efforts - to nurture these species and protect habitats. DEPA believes the RWP is a more rational long-term way to address the Endangered Species Act. We think the land credit banking idea is ill-conceived in this regulatory setting and could easily be manipulated and abused by larger players.
"It goes without saying there are a multitude of unanswered questions about what Exxon/EDF are proposing," Hamm said. "Most importantly, the oil and gas industry needs to know up-front the costs for participating in any plan. It's our understanding this so-called 'free market' plan would be a profit-making enterprise for certain investors and that costs to developers - particularly oil and gas explorers - could preclude smaller companies from competing for leases or drilling wells. No government-sanctioned regulatory program should create a competitive advantage for one company over others."
Hamm said the seemingly narrow regulatory process related to the LPC has far-reaching implications when we face more than 250 candidate species for listing as threatened or endangered by FWS.
"Stakeholders, interested citizens, even federal agencies find themselves in a situation where reasonable men and women can't achieve workable results," Hamm said. "This is the specter facing FWS, based on one of these so-called universal settlement agreements between so-called enviro groups, the US Justice Department and a federal agency. The state wildlife agencies are doing their best to make something work out of this lawsuit-induced chaos."
Hamm said the disagreement in Texas over which habitat and species preservation plan is approved by FWS could shape environmental regulations and best practices for years. "Many people believe that either a state-based range-wide concept, or a land credit banking concept, will be the template for these habitat conservation discussions going forward," Hamm said.
The RWP developed by the five states' wildlife agencies, and endorsed by most of the active oil and gas companies and their state trade associations, has been in the public domain for nearly a year, he said. Additionally, it has been a decade-long process to get to this point.
"Meanwhile," he said, "the Exxon plan remains shrouded in secrecy."
The DEPA leader acknowledged there are no simple, inexpensive ways to deal with preservation of this species.
"What makes this particularly problematic for the oil and gas industry is that the lesser-prairie chicken habitat encompasses large swaths of land in five key energy-producing states (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado). Such diverse interests in diverse locations are best served by the effort of the five state wildlife agencies, not by a one-size-fits-all federal mandate. The states' plan is the most efficient and most effective and it's vitally important to both the environment and to the economy that these five state wildlife agencies are allowed to bring their work to a successful conclusion."
About Domestic Energy Producers Alliance
DEPA is an alliance of producers, royalty owners, oilfield service companies as well as state and na More..tional independent oil and gas associations representing the small businessmen and women of the energy industry. We are devoted to the survival of U.S. crude oil and natural gas exploration and production.Less..
Domestic Energy Producers Alliance
PO Box 18359
Oklahoma City, OK
Phone : 4056402555
Published On:September 3, 2013
Print Release:Print Release
If you have questions regarding information in this press release contact the company listed above. I-Newswire.com is a press release service and not the author of this press release.The information that is on or available through this site is for informational purposes only and speaks only as of the particular date or dates of that information. As some companies and PR Agencies submit their press releases once per week,month or quarter, make sure to check the official company website for accurate release dates as our site displays the I-Newswire.com press release distribution date only.We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of information on or available through this site, and we are not responsible for or omissions in that information or for actions taken in reliance on that information.
Adelphi University Recognized by EPA as a Leading Green Power Purchaser
Marking Clean India Week Live Cleaning Session at Goregaon Best Depot
Nikkei Inc. to Organize One of the Largest Environmental Exhibitions in Japan, "Eco-Products 2013"
Native American Artists Release CD to Protect The Gray Wolf
The Label Printers Wins Environmental Awards