From AAPL’s Legislative and Regulatory Corner -
November Ballots Include Numerous Oil & Gas Issues
As summer comes to a close, many things are beginning to ramp up: school, football and — most importantly — local and state elections. Several initiatives affecting the oil and gas industry are on November ballots across the country. Here are a few of them and how AAPL is staying involved:
Independent Contractor Bill in Pennsylvania: The new members of Pennsylvania’s Labor Committee are back from summer vacation, resulting in increased activity around the independent contractor bill. I will make my first trip there in October, and around that time local AAPL members can expect further guidance on how they can get involved and advocate for the bill in their communities. I will share more details as this unfolds.
Legislative and Regulatory Efforts in Colorado: Earlier this month, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper introduced a compromise on local control of oil and gas drilling that removed all oil and gas related initiatives from the November ballot, including two anti-industry measures and two pro-industry measures. However, the tug of war between state and local governments for oil and gas drilling control is far from over, and AAPL will be monitoring and participating in these efforts as they develop.
Proposed Fracking Moratorium in Denton, Texas: The city of Denton voted to consider a fracking moratorium within city limits on its November ballot. If allowed to pass, this would be the first fracking moratorium in Texas history. We are monitoring this issue and highly encourage members to get involved to prevent the moratorium from going into place. Your participation in pro-energy campaigns — even if they are not directly tied to AAPL — goes a long way in keeping these industry-damaging regulations at bay. We will have additional resources on how you can get involved beginning in October.
AAPL is engaging in several efforts to educate AAPL members and state industry leaders on critical issues for the land profession and the oil and gas industry.
Independent Contractors Survey: AAPL partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a new survey on the opportunities and challenges facing independent contractors. The last independent contractors survey AAPL conducted was in 1996. I am spearheading these efforts and will provide more details as they emerge. Until then, I encourage you to continue to weigh in on the independent contractor issues that are most important to you and notify AAPL of any independent contractor concerns in your area.
Texas Railroad Commission Website Changes: The Texas Railroad Commission turned to AAPL for guidance on how it could better address and accommodate the needs of Texas landmen on its website. On July 28 AAPL submitted comments for updates and changes to the RRC’s website.
IPAA Public Comments for Endangered Species: In late July AAPL partnered with the Independent Petroleum Association of America to provide public comments to the federal government for regulation of oil and gas development due to the preservation of endangered species.
Coming in October — Independent Contractor Toolkit: AAPL is working on an online toolkit that will include videos, articles and several other resources to educate AAPL members on the tax issues affecting independent contractors across the country. This toolkit will be available on www.Landman.org in October and will be featured at AAPL education sessions.
Out and About
Earlier this month, I joined lawmakers and governmental affairs experts from around the U.S. at the energy summit during the National Conference for State Legislators’ 2014 Legislative Summit in Minneapolis. The summit offered ideas and solutions to take on the critical oil and gas issues in states across the country.
The September 15th AAPL Santa Fe Land Institute will feature Ray Powell, commissioner of the New Mexico State Land Office, who presented “The New Mexico State Land Office & Oil and Gas Issues.”
Despite all this activity, there are still only 12 state legislatures currently in session, with a majority of these being full-time legislatures. In short, we’re gearing up for an extremely busy 2015 season. In the meantime, we welcome your input as we continue to work on behalf of landmen, and we will update you as new developments occur. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at email@example.com.
American Association of Professional Landmen
Governmental Affairs Liaison