Northington noted that the proposed BLM fracking regulation of fracking “has been watered down,” from what had originally been proposed to allow more consideration of existing state fracking regulations. “They modified it to where if the states have rules equal to or better than federal regulations, the states will have the regulatory authority,” he said.
John Northington, a Washington-based oil and gas consultant, said companies that drill on public lands won’t be able to get new federal permits from the Bureau of Land Management, which is operating with a “skeleton crew.”
John Northington, a Washington-based oil and gas consultant and former Energy Department official under President Bill Clinton, said in an interview that he didn’t think Obama’s Keystone remarks would change the direction the State Department is taking in reviewing the pipeline.
“People hear what they want to hear,” Northington said.
“…Hill and Knowlton, a global communications firm run by fellow Texan Jack Martin, has frequently used the phrase “License to Operate” in discussions about the challenges facing the industry at home and abroad as a result of the unprecedented boom. These challenges could jeopardize the oil and gas industry’s ongoing efforts to make America energy-independent. Others in the industry, myself included, have found this phrase helpful when thinking about the links connecting domestic energy producers, the federal government, and the American public. An increased understanding and wider acceptance of hydraulic fracturing by all relevant stakeholders will create a better-informed and more confident American public. As a result, the industry will be able to retain its License to Operate, secure the energy resources we depend on, and provide – directly and indirectly – millions of jobs for Americans…”
“BLM, the largest landowner in the U.S., oversees approximately 700 million subsurface acres of mineral rights. Farmers or ranchers own the surface rights on large tracts of federal land. Domestic production from more than 92,000 wells on public lands accounts for about 13 percent of U.S. natural-gas production and 5 percent of oil production.
“If you set aside the argument about whether the rule is necessary or duplicative, I think the BLM listened to industry and made a number of significant changes” on technical issues, said John Northington, of Northington Strategy Group, an oil and gas public-policy firm in Washington.
The rule lets state or tribal rules that “meet or exceed” the U.S. standard to take priority, limiting duplication. In announcing the revision, the agency cited regulations in Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and Texas, without specifying that drilling in those states would qualify.”
“Federal approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline — the long-delayed underground route from Canada to bring heavy oil sands from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries — could be imminent.
John Northington, a former U.S. Department of the Interior and Department of Energy official in the Clinton administration, said Tuesday in a conference call with the Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance that prospects for the energy industry are only going up in the future. Part of that growth pattern will likely be designed by the controversial pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp.
“I think the Keystone will be approved in fairly short order by the administration,” Northington said.
Michael Barnes, TransCanada’s spokesman in Houston, said the company is increasingly optimistic about obtaining the necessary permitting. TransCanada has worked closely with Nebraska officials to develop a route that avoids the environmentally sensitive Sandhills area, which has been a key holdup in the process. A public hearing is scheduled in December, and then the route goes to the Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman for his review. Barnes said TransCanada could have an answer by the end of the second quarter of 2013.
Northington spoke with former George W. Bush administration official Michael Whatley to address how the energy industry could help the U.S. avoid a fiscal cliff later this year.”
WASHINGTON, March 2 — One of the nation’s biggest oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico is pressing ahead with a lawsuit that could, if successful, allow energy companies to avoid as much as $60 billion in royalties to the government over the next two decades.
Indeed, industry executives say that major oil companies are politically divided about the legal gauntlet thrown down by Kerr-McGee and Anadarko Petroleum.
“I think there are a lot of folks in the industry, particularly those involved in advocating the original legislation, that absolutely don’t agree with Kerr-McGee,” said John Northington, an industry lobbyist who worked in the Energy Department under President Clinton.
While the election is still six days away, the strength Democratic candidates have shown has already produced one shift in Washington: Democratic lobbyists, once marginalized, are seeing a resurgence in their popularity.
“There are companies that are definitely looking to hire Democrats,” said John Northington of Thomas Advisors, a firm that specializes in energy issues.
Northington is a rarity: a Democratic lobbyist who specializes in energy production issues. Oil giant ExxonMobil hired Northington three months ago to lobby the White House on exploration issues and to reach out to Democrats in Congress.
A law that provides permanent protection of the Rocky Mountain Front by banning new oil and gas leases on federal land was delivered Tuesday from an unlikely source.
Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., who in 2002 said tapping into oil and gas reserves is in the national interest, took steps to prevent new leases from being approved on Forest Service land in the Lewis and Clark National Forest and adjacent Bureau of Land Management property on the Front.
John Northington, an energy expert with Thomas Advisors, said he is serving as a liaison between leaseholders and the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front.