As everyone is probably aware, the AAPG and DPA decided to jointly fund the establishment of an office in Washington, D.C. (GEO-DC). The office was launched in mid-November and Don Juckett, director for GEO-DC hit the ground running. I would like to briefly address a few of his activities on behalf of AAPG and DPA.
Department of the Interior:
Emphasis is being placed on discussion with the DOI and other agencies to focus upon those issues where AAPG has published positions, including:
- Provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandating reduction of the Bureau of Land Management’s permitting backlog.
- U.S. Geological Survey 2007 budget request and those areas of the Survey’s global mineral assessment program where the DOI’s budget submission requested no funding for ongoing programs.
- Minerals Management Service’s 2007-12 Five Year Plan -- 60-day comment period leading to the Draft Final Plan as required by law.
Department of Energy:
Don is working with the DPA and AAPG executive committees plus the board of governors for the GEO-DC to develop testimony for supporting restoration of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, Oil and Natural Gas Research Program and related funding.
In mid-February, AAPG President Pete Rose submitted a statement for the record, for inclusion into the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, asking the Committee to restore the above referenced program (see page 45). Part of this “white paper” also expressed AAPG’s concern about the administration’s apparent attempts to dismantle parts of the recently signed Energy Policy Act.
To follow up, Don will draft written testimony (to be approved by AAPG and DPA ECs) to be submitted to both the House and Senate appropriating committees with jurisdiction over DOE’s oil and natural gas research program supporting continued funding of these programs.
Additionally Don has approached the DOE with AAPG’s offer to serve on each of the two committees to be established to work on ultra-deepwater and unconventional resource technology. The GEO-DC was assured of strong consideration for candidates that AAPG would propose to be part of these committees.
The Secretary of Energy has tasked the National Petroleum Council with a major study on global oil and gas resources (driven by “peak oil” arguments in Washington). NPC Executive Director Marshall Nichols approached GEO-DC to explore possible AAPG involvement in this study. NPC expression of interest was presented to CORE at the Feb. 9 meeting in Houston.
CORE members expressed interest in working with NPC on what is likely to become one of NPC’s largest ever studies.
Don also is working on a lot of outreach initiatives with other organizations already well established in Washington. As a result of communications with IPAA, API, Domestic Petroleum Council, the National Ocean Industries Association and other organizations, the GEO-DC has received several invitations to participate in industry legislative strategy groups involving upstream energy issues.
The GEO-DC office also has been contacted by House staff to share the drafting of legislation and seek AAPG’s input on the proposed Energy and Mineral Schools Reinvestment Act, which has been included in a bill by Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-La.). The title of this would be: “To provide for exploration, development and production activities for mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes.”
Obviously, work force issues are an important point of discussion on the Hill.
Don has pledged to keep AAPG/DPA management and members current on the various legislative and administrative initiatives.
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, DON!
The DPA has many activities, sessions and forums planned for the convention in Houston this month.
- The Annual DPA Executive Committee and Advisory Board meeting will be held April 8, with our awards dinner taking place that evening.
- On April 9, the joint DPA/SIPES seminar on “How to Be An Independent” will be held, which has been very popular over the past few years, and is targeted toward the under- or un-employed in our industry (or those who may just want to leave their companies and strike out on their own!). It is a “how to” on legal, accounting and computer/software issues, as well as great information on setting up an office and accessing geological/geophysical data.
- One of the convention highlights will be the DPA Luncheon April 11. Our speaker is Leslie Haines, editor-in-chief of the Oil and Gas Investor, Hart Publishing’s flagship magazine, who will address the availability of money to finance drilling ventures.
- Another great DPA event is the “Women as Leaders in the E&P Industry: Challenges and Opportunities” forum at 1:30 p.m., April 11.
This is really a two-part program, with a panel format to start the discussion by examining the challenges faced by women in their rise to leadership positions, and the opportunities they foresee. This will be followed by a program sponsored by the Association of Women Geoscientists, targeting work issues in the industry and retention of women geoscientists -- from young to more experienced professionals.
All this will culminate in a brief reception for the attendees and participants.
So ... mark your calendars to make it to the convention in Houston -- our “mark” will be everywhere!
This will be my last column in the EXPLORER as president of the DPA. I am handing off the July column to incoming president, Rich Green, who takes office July 1.
I hope he has as much fun working on these presentations to the membership as I have!