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LETTER: Governors support use of enhanced oil recovery

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Western Governors sent a letter to Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, and Representatives Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, on Nov. 30, 2016, in support of the responsible use of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using carbon dioxide (CO2) and to encourage that the bipartisan Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Act (S. 3179) be considered as a potential amendment to any appropriate legislation subject to adoption by Congress.

LETTER: Governors reiterate need for 'substantial' state role in regional review of Section 386 corridors

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Western Governors sent letters on Oct. 13, 2016, to Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze and U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell to reiterate the need for "substantial" state consultation in the regional review of West-wide energy corridor designations mandated by Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The  letters -- follow-ups to previous outreach regarding the federal strategy and timeline for undertaking the regional reviews -- assert that the agencies' proposed regional review process, which is already underway, "falls short of the meaningful and substantial involvement that states expect and for which Governors have been asking since 2013."

LETTER: Hydropower Licensing Authorities

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Western Governors sent a letter on July 18, 2016, to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce leadership regarding provisions in Subtitle B: Hydropower Regulatory Modernization of the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015. The Governors expressed concerns that this subtitle would designate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as lead agency for all hydropower licensing authorities and requested that language be removed or amended so that existing state hydropower licensing authorities are not replaced or in any way impeded by FERC jurisdiction.

LETTER: Governors support enhanced oil recovery technology

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Western Governors sent a letter on June 3, 2016, to members of Congress involved in efforts to develop federal policy aimed at spurring deployment of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology. Western Governors expressed their support for the responsible use of EOR using carbon dioxide (CO2), as it has proven to be "a safe and effective way to increase domestic oil production while sequestering millions of tons of CO2.

LETTER: Governors seek substantive partnership in Section 368 energy corridor designation process

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Western Governors sent a letter on May 17, 2016, to Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze and U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell to inquire about energy corridor designations mandated by Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Governors requested answers to their questions and a "substantive partnership" in the Section 368 energy corridor designation process. The letter noted, "Establishing an energy transmission infrastructure system that facilitates the development of necessary infrastructure – while maintaining wildlife, natural resources and environmental protection – represents a key energy policy priority for Western Governors."

LETTER: Governors urge BLM to defer to state regulations for methane emissions reduction

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Western Governors sent a letter on April 22, 2016, to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze regarding the BLM's proposed rule, Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation. The letter urged the BLM to take further steps to acknowledge existing state regulatory frameworks for methane emissions reduction. The Governors stated, "More work is needed in consultation with Governors and state regulators to ensure the Proposal defers to existing state regulatory frameworks, and does not encroach on air regulatory authority reserved to the states."

COMMENTS: Coordination of Federal Authorizations for Electric Transmission Facilities

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The Western Governors' Association sent the following comments on April 4, 2016, to the U.S. Department of Energy regarding its proposed rule, Coordination of Federal Authorizations for Electric Transmission Facilities. The outreach stated: "Participation in the Integrated, Interagency Pre-Application Process should be mandatory for all federal agencies with transmission siting, review and approval responsibilities, but voluntary for project proponents." The comments also requested clarification regarding how collected data will be used to streamline environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

LETTER: Governors request comment period extension on BLM proposed rule

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Western Governors sent a letter on March 15, 2016, to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze requesting a comment period extension for BLM's proposed rule, "Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation." Given the complexity of the proposed rule, which will have far reaching impacts on the oil and natural gas industry and states hosting that industry, Western Governors expressed, "The current timeframe is inadequate and will not allow thoughtful analysis of this proposed rule and its impact on industry and the economies of Western states."

LETTER: WGA supports shared renewable energy lease revenues

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The Western Governors' Association sent a letter on Feb. 2, 2016, to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee leadership to communicate Western Governors’ longstanding support for the sharing of revenues derived from renewable energy leasing on federal lands with impacted states and counties. The letter expressed the Western Governors' appreciation of the Committee’s consideration of the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2015 (S. 1407), which would enact such revenue sharing. The letter noted, "Western states look forward to helping meet the current and future energy needs of the United States while ensuring protection of our precious natural resources."

LETTER: WGA offers resources to House Energy and Commerce Committee

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The Western Governors' Association (WGA) sent a letter on Aug. 3, 2015, to House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership to commend them for their effort to craft comprehensive bipartisan energy legislation. The letter highlighted, "The West truly is the energy breadbasket of the country, with regional energy production coming from a diverse range of sources including petroleum-based sources, coal, hydroelectric generation, renewable sources including wind, solar and geothermal electricity generation, and nuclear power generation." The letter thanked the committee for considering the views of the Western Governors and called attention to relevant WGA resources and reports.

LETTER: WGA offers resources to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

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The Western Governors' Association (WGA) sent a letter on July 17, 2015, to U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources leadership to commend them for their effort to craft comprehensive bipartisan energy legislation. The letter highlighted, "The West truly is the energy breadbasket of the country, with regional energy production coming from a diverse range of sources including petroleum-based sources, coal, hydroelectric generation, renewable sources including wind, solar and geothermal electricity generation, and nuclear power generation." The letter thanked the committee for considering the views of the Western Governors and called attention to relevant WGA resources and reports.

LETTER: WGA promotes sharing of renewable energy lease revenues

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The Western Governors' Association (WGA) sent a letter on June 11, 2015, to U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources leadership reiterating the Western Governors’ longstanding support for the sharing of revenues derived from renewable energy leasing on federal lands with impacted states and counties. WGA emphasized the costs that states and counties incur from the development and operation of such projects and explained, "Shared lease revenues from renewable energy development can be used by state and local agencies to support land, water and wildlife conservation in affected areas."

LETTER: Governors urge state consultation on EPA's methane emissions reduction proposal

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Western Governors sent a letter on May 20, 2015, to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding EPA plans to propose a rule, under the Clean Air Act, to establish revised New Source Performance Standards for oil wells and for natural gas processing and transmission sources not otherwise currently regulated by EPA. The letter requested that the agency engage in meaningful consultation with states in advance of the release of its methane emissions reduction proposal. The governors wrote, "It is through early collaboration and consultation that EPA and western states can best work together...to protect western air resources while achieving the mandates and needs of both."

LETTER: Governors urge state consultation on BLM's methane emissions reduction proposal

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Western Governors sent a letter on May 20, 2015, to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze regarding BLM plans to propose a rule to address venting, flaring and leakage of methane from new and existing oil and natural gas wells on public land. The letter requested that the agency engage in meaningful consultation with states in advance of the release of its methane emissions reduction proposal. The governors reminded, "States and the BLM work together as co-regulators of oil and natural gas development activity, and some western states have already taken substantial steps to reduce atmospheric emissions of methane from oil and natural gas development operations."

LETTER: Governors support coal ash remaining regulated as solid waste

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The Western Governors' Association sent a letter on Oct. 30, 2014, to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding the regulation of coal combustion residuals (CCRs). WGA pointed to its existing policy resolution (The Regulation of Coal Combustion Residuals) and cautioned, "Categorization of CCRs as hazardous waste would undercut existing and effective state regulations and result in additional and unwarranted regulations that could add costly burdens to already strained state budgets."

COMMENTS: WGA comments on the Quadrennial Energy Review

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The Western Governors' Association sent the following comments on Oct. 10, 2014, to the U.S. Department of Energy regarding the Quadrennial Energy Review. The comments explained, "Upgrading and expanding the region’s transmission infrastructure is of critical importance to Western Governors." The Governors emphasized that developing a reliable, secure and modern energy distribution infrastructure will require the use of state data, analysis and expertise.

TESTIMONY: Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013 (H.R. 596)

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James D. Ogsbury, Executive Director of the Western Governors’ Association, testified on July 29, 2014, before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, House Committee on Natural Resources in support of the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013 (H.R. 596). The testimony noted: "Western Governors support continued and accelerated deployment of renewable energy projects -- and the associated growth in clean energy jobs -- in Western states. They look forward to helping meet the current and future energy needs of the United States while ensuring protection of our precious natural resources."

LETTER: BLM Permit Processing Improvement Act of 2014

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The Western Governors' Association sent letters on July 11, 2014, to Senator Tom Udall & Senator John Barrasso conveying the Governors' support for S. 2440, the BLM Permit Processing Improvement Act of 2014, legislation to reauthorize the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project. The letter states, "Based on feedback from affected states, it is clear that the Pilot Project has been successful in facilitating the development of domestic energy resources and merits continuation."

LETTER: Need for clear state opt-in process in new Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

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The Western Governors' Association sent a letter on April 4, 2014, to the Interior Department regarding the new Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The letter cautioned about imposing unintentional unfunded mandates on states and urged the development of a clear opt-in process for states that want to participate. The letter explained, "While Governors support the goal of revenue transparency and recognize that the U.S. system of transparency can be a model for the rest of the world, they will react unfavorably to efforts by EITI that create an unfunded federal mandate."

LETTER: Support for Reauthorization of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project

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Western Governors sent a letter on April 3, 2014, to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urging support for reauthorization of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project.  The Project, started in 2005, is designed to increase office efficiency and streamline processing of applications for permit to drill filed with the Bureau of Land Management. The Governors wrote, "We look forward to working collaboratively with you to ensure the continued success of this program, so important to a number of Western states."

LETTER: Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013 (H.R. 596)

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The Western Governors' Association sent a letter on Jan. 15, 2014, to U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings conveying the Western Governors' support for the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013 (H.R. 596), led by Rep. Paul Gosar. This support was linked to language in the Act that would enact the sharing of revenues derived from renewable energy leasing on federal lands with impacted states and counties.

COMMENTS: FERC Docket Number AD13-9-000 on small hydropower development

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The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) and the Western States Water Council (WSWC) submitted the following comments on Nov. 1, 2013, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on its investigation regarding the feasibility of a two-year licensing process for hydropower development at non-powered dams required by Section 6 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013. The comments noted, "WGA and WSWC support efforts to integrate and streamline state and federal hydropower licensing requirements."

COMMENTS: DOE Integrated, Interagency Pre-Application proposal

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The Western Governors' Association sent the following comments on Oct. 31, 2013, to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in response to the DOE's Request for Information on transmission planning (FR 53436, Aug. 29, 2013). The comments expressed the Western Governors' appreciation of efforts to streamline the siting and permitting process for transmission and recommendations, including, "Participation in the process should be mandatory for all federal agencies with responsibilities for transmission siting, review and approval."

LETTER: Governors supporting change to Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) eligibility to a “commence construction” standard

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Western Governors sent a letter on Oct. 21, 2013, to leadership of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees urging them to modify the Section 48 Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) from a “placed in service” standard of eligibility to a “commence construction” standard. The letter explained, "By changing the Section 48 ITC to a commence construction standard Congress can support continued domestic energy production and job creation in the West -- strengthening our national and economic security and creating a diversified, reliable, and affordable supply of energy."

LETTER: Governors offer CEQ help reviewing Section 368 transmission corridors

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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock sent a letter on Oct. 4, 2013, to Nancy Sutley, Chair of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, offering to collaborate with federal agencies in the review and re-designation of the “Section 368” Western energy corridors. The letter stated: "We stand ready to work with federal agencies to define corridors that will not only address the concerns raised by environmental plaintiffs regarding the original Section 368 corridor designation process, but also address states’ land use requirements, growth priorities and long-term energy planning needs."

LETTER: Governors on proposed hydraulic fracturing rule

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Western Governors sent a letter on Aug. 23, 2013, to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to provide their input on the Bureau of Land Management's proposed rule, "Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands." The governors expressed that the states, territories, and flag islands have effectively regulated the practice of hydraulic fracturing and redundant federal regulation is not required. The letter explained, "Because there are often profound differences in geology, ecology, hydrology and meteorology, the states are best equipped to design, administer and enforce laws and regulations related to oil and gas development."

LETTER: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

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The Western Governors' Association sent a letter on July 24, 2013, to Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh expressing concern about committing states to federal Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative accounting, reporting and auditing requirements. The letter expressed a number of state concerns, including, "the appropriateness of states participating in an international reporting initiative given their unique status as sovereign governments."

LETTER: WGA and WSWC support hydropower legislation

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The Western Governors' Association and the Western States Water Council sent a letter on April 22, 2013 to leadership of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The letter was written to support the goals of the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 545), the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (H.R. 267), and the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (S. 306/H.R. 678), which aim to increase the development of small hydropower projects.

LETTER: Governors support Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act

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Western Governors sent a letter on Mar. 26, 2013, to sponsors of the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act to express their support for sharing with states and counties renewable energy royalty revenues from federal lands. The letter explained, "We support the development of a leasing system for renewable energy that returns a portion of royalty revenues to the states and counties because they incur additional staff time and capital costs from permitting and siting this type of development."

LETTER: Production Tax Credit

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Western Governors sent a letter on Dec. 7, 2012, to Congressional leadership urging them to extend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC). The letter expressed how expiration of the PTC would put the diverse energy portfolio of the West at risk and also potentially result in the loss of manufacturing jobs. The Governors emphasized the importance of the PTC, noting, "Many Western Governors have long supported the PTC as a way to help us realize clean energy goals, build our manufacturing base, create jobs, lower energy costs, and strengthen our domestic energy security."

LETTER: Governors support sharing of renewables royalties

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Western Governors sent a letter on Aug. 8, 2012, to sponsors of legislation designed to share royalties and lease revenues from solar and wind projects developed on federal lands with states and counties. The letter thanked the Representatives for introducing the important legislation and explained, "We support the development of a leasing system for renewable energy that returns a portion of royalty revenues to the states and counties because they incur additional staff time and capital costs from permitting and siting this type of development." 

LETTER: Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act

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Western Governors sent a letter on May 30, 2012, to sponsors of the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (S. 1775) to express support for the legislation that would share royalties and lease revenues from solar and wind projects developed on Federal lands with states and counties. The letter explained, "We support the development of a leasing system for renewable energy that returns a portion of royalty revenues to the states and counties because they incur additional staff time and capital costs from permitting and siting this type of development." 

LETTER: Western Electric Industry Leaders

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Washington Governor and Western Governors' Association (WGA) Chair Christine Gregoire sent a letter on Jan. 24, 2012, to the Western Electric Industry Leaders to request a report at the WGA Annual Meeting on the scope and magnitude of actions the industry has taken or is contemplating taking to lower wind and solar integration costs to consumers.