HBW Resources: Greenfield Offshore Energy Report

HBW Resources: Greenfield Offshore Energy Report

HBW Resources: Greenfield Offshore Energy Report
 
Below is a summary of publicly available activities currently underway at the federal, state and international levels that could impact the development of offshore oil and gas resources.  With numerous legislative bodies now in session, HBW Resources is monitoring these activities to ensure that responsible policies based on sound science are advanced. 
 
BSEE To Establish Ocean Energy Safety Institute
 
The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on Wednesday announced that the agency “is taking steps” to establish an independent Ocean Energy Safety Institute (Institute) “to further enhance safe and responsible operations across the offshore oil and gas industry.”
 
According to BSEE, the Institute will provide members of the academic community, government, industry, and other non-governmental organizations an opportunity to engage in dialogue, shared learning, and cooperative research in offshore technologies and activities “that ensure safe operations with limited impact to the environment.”  In addition, the agency says that the Institute will help educate and train federal employees so that they “can keep pace and maintain the same level of technological expertise as the oil and gas industry” that they regulate.
 
The announcement further notes that the establishment of an entity like the Institute was recommended by the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC), and says that it will be “an important source of unbiased, independent information and will not have any regulatory authority over the offshore industry.”  It adds that with OESC’s pending expiration, “there is a need for an entity to gather, consider and harmonize the proposals promoted by other research and development centers to inform BSEE’s regulation of the offshore industry.”
 
In conjunction with the announcement, an announcement was published on Wednesday seeking proposals from qualified organizations or institutions to enter into a cooperative agreement with BSEE for five years beginning October 1, 2013. Up to $5 million in funds will be made available to pay for the startup costs of the Institute, which will include the salaries of up to three staff, workshops and forums, and research and related activities.
 
BSEE Director James Watson said in part that the Institute “will help federal regulators keep pace with new processes employed by the industry as they move into deeper water and deeper geologic plays that require technological innovation to bring projects into production,” adding that he “look[s] forward to expanding the dialogue and engagement with additional stakeholders to identify and reduce risks to worker safety and the environment.”
 
Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes stated that the Institute “will enable all segments of industry, government, academia and other stakeholders to stay informed about and engaged in changes in offshore energy development as they occur.”
 
OESC Chair and former Sandia National Laboratory Director Dr. Thomas Hunter added that the entity “provides a unique opportunity for all engaged parties to work together to identify and deploy technology that will make a real difference,” saying that “[t]he time is right and the opportunity is clear.”
 
EPA To Establish Working Group To Examine Ocean Acidification and Water Quality Criteria
 
In May 2013 correspondence sent to the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Nancy Stoner said that the agency would convene a technical working group “to evaluate data and research regarding water quality parameters most relevant for understanding and addressing ocean acidification and its causes.”  EPA expects the formation of the working group and initiation of discussions within 6 months.
 
According to Stoner, the working group will be charged with identifying water quality parameters related to ocean acidification “to contribute to a better understanding of the scale of potential impacts on aquatic life, relative contribution of drivers and sources, and the most meaningful metrics for assessing potential trends.”
 
The decision to establish a working group follows an April 2013 petition filed by CBD in which the group called on EPA to promulgate additional water quality criteria to measure ocean acidification and publish guidance to states on ocean acidification pursuant to Section 304 of the Clean Water Act.  CBD referred to its requested action as “a non-discretionary duty because the current criteria and guidelines do not reflect the latest scientific knowledge and fail to protect marine water quality, as required by the Clean Water Act.”
 
In the correspondence to CBD, EPA notes the agency’s agreement that recent scientific research suggests that ocean chemistry indicators and biological parameters beyond pH “may be relevant for ocean acidification.”  EPA specifically references the potential need for data on carbonate system parameters and biological metrics of effects to measure ocean acidification, as well as the role of the calcium carbonate saturation state in the shell-building of calcareous marine organisms.
 
Comments Sought On Draft Comprehensive Gulf Coast Restoration Plan, Public Meetings Announced
 
The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday announced that it is seeking comments on theDraft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy and accompanying Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment prepared by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council). 
 
In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon incident, Congress last year passed the RESTORE Act, which among other things established the Council and required it to develop a comprehensive plan to “restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.”  The Council is responsible for distributing 60% of resources deposited into the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, and the Plan is in part intended to guide its funding decisions.
 
Comments are also sought on a preliminary list of nearly 600 authorized but not yet commenced Gulf Coast ecosystem restoration projects and programs, “the completion of which would further the purposes and goals” of the RESTORE Act.  In general, these projects and programs have been authorized by Congress or approved under a State program, plan, or action.  The list, which was required to be assembled under the RESTORE Act, is in the process of being evaluated by the full Council.
 
The draft Plan includes the following elements:
 
·         Proposes five goals to guide Council decisions on ecosystem restoration funding: (1) restore and conserve habitat; (2) restore water quality; (3) replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources; (4) enhance community resilience; and (5) restore and revitalize the Gulf economy
·         Proposes 7 objectives to guide Council decisions on ecosystem restoration funding: (1) restore, enhance, and protect habitats; (2) restore, improve, and protect water quality; (3) protect and restore living coastal and marine resources; (4) restore and protect natural processes and shorelines; (5) promote community resilience; (6) promote natural resource stewardship and environmental education; and (7) improve science-based decision-making processes used by the Council
·         Establishes 4 criteria for project/program evaluations (required under RESTORE Act; if at least one of the criteria is met, highest priority must be given to that project/program for at least the first 3 years)
·         Outlines the process by which project/program proposals will be submitted to and evaluated and selected by the Council
·         Outlines the process for the development, review, and approval of Expenditure Plans developed by the five Gulf Coast States  
·         Outlines next steps envisioned by the Council, including but not limited to the following:
o   Refine objectives and evaluation criteria to make them more specific/measurable;
o   Establish advisory committees as determined necessary (e.g. citizens advisory committee, science advisory committee);
o   Develop regulations establishing Oil Spill Restoration Impact Allocation formula under which 30% of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Trust Fund will be divided among the five Gulf Coast States to implement Council-approved Expenditure Plans;
o   Select and publish a list of the projects/programs that the Council intends to fund over the next 3 years; and
o   Provide a description of the manner in which the Council will allocate Trust Fund resources projected to be available over the next 10 years
 
Among other things, the draft Plan also notes the following:
 
·         More than 22 million Americans live in Gulf Coast communities, “working in crucial U.S. industries like commercial seafood, shipping, tourism, and oil and gas production”
·         The Gulf of Mexico “experienced numerous water quality problems resulting from theDeepwater Horizon disaster and other factors, including excess nutrients, hypoxia, altered sediment resources, pathogens, mercury, remaining Deepwater Horizon oil and dispersants and other pollutants”
·         Decisions made under the comprehensive plan will be made based on the best available science and will evolve over time to address new science, information, and changing conditions
·         Council commits to promoting regional ecosystem-based and landscape-scale restoration 
·         Council “will support ecosystem restoration that can enhance local communities by giving people desirable places to live, work, and play, while creating opportunities for new and existing businesses of all sizes, especially those dependent on natural resources”
·         Protection and conservation projects could be implemented through protected area management, active management, acquisition, voluntary management agreements, perpetual management, conservation easements, and “other conservation activities”
·         Projects and programs could be implemented to “address recovery of threatened and endangered species”
 
Comments are specifically sought on areas addressing the priority project/program evaluation criteria, Council objectives, and the establishment of or engagement with advisory committees.
 
In conjunction with the comment period, the Council will hold the following 6 “public engagement sessions” to provide an opportunity to provide input on the draft Plan and the Council’s restoration planning efforts: Pensacola, FL (June 3), Spanish Port, AL (June 5), Galveston, TX (June 10), Biloxi, MS (June 11), Belle Chasse, LA (June 12), and St. Petersburg, FL (June 17).
 
Comments on the draft Plan and Environmental Assessment are due by Monday, June 24, 2013.
 
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Releases Draft Offshore Legislation
 
U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) on Thursdayannounced the release of draft legislation that would expand U.S. offshore oil and gas production, expands revenue-sharing to states outside the Gulf of Mexico with energy production in adjacent federal waters, and codifies organizations reforms at the Interior Department’s offshore agencies.
 
Among other things, the “Offshore Energy and Jobs Act” would do the following:
 
Access
 
·         Require that all future OCS 5-Year Leasing Plans include lease sales that cover at least 50% of the available unleased acreage in each OCS planning area considered to have the largest undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources (estimated to contain 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas)
·         Require the Interior Secretary to issue a new 2015-2020 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) 5-Year Leasing Plan by July 15, 2014, approving a Final 2015-2020 Plan by July 15, 2015
·         Require the Interior Secretary to conduct previously-canceled Lease Sale 220 (offshore Virginia) within 1 year of enactment
·         Require the Interior Secretary to conduct a lease sale for areas located in federal waters offshore South Carolina within 2 years of enactment
·         Require the Interior Secretary to conduct a lease sale for areas located in the Santa Maria and Santa Barbara/Ventura Basins of the Southern California OCS Planning Area by the end of 2014 (development and production could occur only from existing offshore infrastructure or from onshore-based, extended-reach drilling)
·         Requires the Interior Secretary to determine a domestic strategic production goal for oil and natural gas development in all future OCS 5-Year Leasing Plans; production increase goal by 2032 can be no less than 3 million barrels of oil/day and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas/day
 
Revenue-Sharing
 
·         Gulf of Mexico States would continue to receive 37.5% of revenue from new leases pursuant to the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act
·         After a phase-in, would extend 37.5% revenue-sharing percentage to coastal states outside the Gulf of Mexico where energy production is taking place in adjacent federal waters (VA, SC, and CA lease sales required under proposed legislation would be exempt)
 
Reorganization of Interior Department Agencies
 
·         Requires the establishment of a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Under Secretary for Energy, Lands, and Minerals, Assistant Secretary of Ocean Energy and Safety, and an Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management
·         Requires the establishment of a Bureau of Ocean Energy, Ocean Energy Safety Service, Office of Natural Resources Revenue, National Offshore Energy Health and Safety Academy (to train offshore government inspectors), and Outer Continental Shelf Energy Safety Advisory Board
·         Requires federal offshore safety inspectors to have at least 3 years of practical experience in oil and gas exploration, development, or production or a degree in an appropriate engineering field from an accredited higher learning institution
·         Abolishes the Minerals Management Service
·         To offset inspection expenses, establishes an ”Ocean Energy Enforcement Fund” and requires the Interior Secretary to collect the following non-refundable annual inspection fees from operators subject to inspection (applies to Fiscal Years 2013-2022)
o   $30,500 per inspection for drilling rigs in water depths of 1,000 feet or more (billed within 30 days of inspection, payment required within 30 days of billing)
o   $16,700 per inspection for drilling rigs in water depths of less than 1,000 feet (billed within 30 days of inspection, payment required within 30 days of billing)
o   $31,500 for facilities above the water line with more than 10 active and/or inactive wells (billed within 60 days of inspection, payment required within 30 days of billing)
o   $17,000 for facilities above the water line with 1-10 active and/or inactive wells (billed within 60 days of inspection, payment required within 30 days of billing)
o   $10,500 for facilities above the water line with processing equipment or gathering lines but no wells (billed within 60 days of inspection, payment required within 30 days of billing)
 
U.S. Territories
 
·         Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to specify its applicability to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf adjacent to any territory of the United States
 
In announcing the draft legislation, Chairman Hastings called the bill “a pro-energy, pro-jobs plan that will strengthen our economy and increase our energy security by responsibly and safely harnessing our vast offshore energy resources.”
 
legislative hearing on the proposed bill will take place before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals on Thursday, June 6.
 
Vitter Introduces Bill To Encourage Use Of Gulf Of Mexico Oil & Gas Platforms As Artificial Reefs
 
U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Ranking Member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, last Thursday introduced legislation (Artificial Reef Promotion Act of 2013, S. 1074) that seeks to increase the use of decommissioned Gulf of Mexico platforms as artificial reefs by requiring the U.S. Interior DepartmentArmy Corps of Engineers, and Homeland Security Departmentto take certain actions.
 
The proposed legislation, which has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, contains provisions including the following:
 
·         Within 6 months of enactment, the Directors of Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management must issue regulations to expedite the review of final applications submitted to dispose of or remove an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico for use as an artificial reef so that a decision is rendered within 150 days of the application submittal
·          Within 6 months of enactment, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must issue regulations to expedite the Interior Secretary’s review of final applications submitted to dispose of or remove an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico for use as an artificial reef so that a decision is rendered within 120 days of the application submittal
·         Within 1 year of enactment, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must designate at least 20 artificial reef planning areas (6 each offshore Texas and Louisiana, 5 offshore Florida, and 3 offshore Alabama and Mississippi); at least 10 of the areas must be in water depths between 100 and 200 feet, and at least 20 must be in water depths greater than 200 feet; Commanding General is directed to establish planning areas in water depths no greater than 100 feet “where practicable”
·         Any artificial reef planning area existing before, on, or after enactment must be no smaller than 12 contiguous lease blocks
·         Within 6 months of enactment, the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement must issue a regulation that regulates the distance between Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms used as artificial reefs (in no case can the distance exceed 2 miles)
·         Within 6 months of artificial reef planning area designations, artificial reef permittees who own Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms must provide notice that identifies 20% of the platforms to be used as artificial reefs
·         Interior Secretary must issue regulations for the minimum water depth required to cover an artificial reef; if minimum water depth does not exceed 85 feet, the Homeland Security Secretarymust ensure the site is properly marked to reduce navigational hazards, indicate the artificial reef planning area and reef site location on appropriate nautical charts, and provide mariners with notice of each artificial reef site location
·         Within 3 years of enactment, the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement must review the artificial reef planning areas “to determine the effectiveness of using decommissioned platforms as artificial reefs”
·         BSEE Regional Supervisors must give preference to final applications to use decommissioned Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms as artificial reefs
·         In issuing a permit for an artificial reef, the Interior Secretary must:
o   (1) consult with and solicit the views of various federal agencies, states, local governments, and other interested parties;
o   (2) ensure that siting, construction, monitoring, and management provisions are consistent with the Act;
o   (3) ensure that title to the artificial reef construction material is unambiguous and that responsibility for maintenance and the financial ability to assume liability for future damages are clearly established;
o   (4) ensure that states assuming liability have established artificial reef maintenance funds; and
o   (5) consider the National Artificial Reef Plan developed under the National Fishing Enhancement Act of 1984 and notify the Commerce Secretary of any need to deviate from it
 
In announcing the legislation, Sen. Vitter said that the legislation “will bring the Rigs to Reefs program into the 21st century” and “ultimately increase the stability and health of our Gulf of Mexico fisheries and the industries that depend on them.”  His office added that the bill “will help streamline the process, encouraging owners of the rigs to enter the program.”
 
U.S. Rep. Introduces Legislation To Reform National Marine Monument Designation Process
 
U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Thursday introduced legislation to amend the Antiquities Act of 1906 to require certain procedures for designating national monuments.
 
Among other things, the “National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act” would require the following:
 
·         The President must provide a proposed national monument designation proclamation to Congress, the Governor of each State, the chief elected official of each unit of local government, and the governing entity of each tribal government with jurisdiction over parcels of land located within the boundaries of the proposed national monument, giving them 30 days to review the proposed designation before issuing a proclamation 
·         Unless expressly waived by local/tribal governments within the boundaries of the monument, within 90 days of a proclamation, the Interior Secretary must hold at least 1 public hearing in a county or comparable unit of local government located wholly or partially within the monument boundaries, soliciting comments from the public and entering them into the record
·         Within 30 days of a proclamation, the Interior Secretary must initiate a public notice and comment period on the proclamation
·         Within 1 year of the proclamation’s issuance, the President must transmit a report to Congress analyzing the following:
o   The designation’s economic impact on communities within the monument’s boundaries;
o   The designation’s impact on U.S. energy security, including the effects of the loss of sites to produce wind, geothermal, or solar energy, and the number of barrels of oil, tons of coal, or cubic feet of natural gas that will become unavailable due to the designation;
o   The designation’s projected impact on the interests, rights, and uses associated with the land parcels within the monument’s boundaries;
o   The record of any public hearings; and
o   Any written comments received during the public notice and comment period  
·         Any proclamation (and related reservations of land and restrictions) not approved by an Act of Congress within 2 years would cease to be effective
·         President must ensure that any restriction placed on land and interests, rights, or uses associated with the land parcels designated as a national monument (including mineral and energy leases, claims and permits) is “narrowly tailored and essential to the proper care and management of the objects to be protected”
·         Prohibits the President from issuing a proclamation substantially similar to one previously issued that Congress has not approved
 
legislative hearing on bills including this proposed legislation will take place before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation on Thursday, June 6.
 
82 Existing Marine Protected Areas Nominated To Become Part Of National System Of MPAs
 
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries last Thursday announced that it is seeking comments the U.S. National Park Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife’snomination of 82 existing marine protected areas (MPAs) to the National System of Marine Protected Areas (National System).  The two NPS-nominated sites are located in Texas (Padre Island National Seashore) and California (Redwood National Park), while the other 80 sites are all located in California.
 
The announcement notes that benefits of existing MPAs joining the National System include opportunities (1) to  work with other MPA managers in the region and nationally on issues of conservation concern; (2) to foster greater public and international recognition of U.S. MPAs and their resources; (3) receive priority regarding technical and other support; (4) to participate in and influence federal and regional ocean conservation and management initiatives; and (5) provide a forum for coordinated regional planning regarding place-based conservation priorities.
 
The National System, which currently includes 355 members, was established pursuant to a May 2000Executive Order and subsequent Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States (Framework).
 
Existing MPAs must satisfy four criteria to join the National System: (1) meet the definition of an MPA as described in the Framework; (2) have a management plan that includes goals, objectives, and monitoring/evaluation thereof (in the absence of a management plan, sites can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on their ability to fill gaps in the National System coverage of the Framework’s priority conservation objectives and design principles); (3) contribute to at least one priority conservation objective as listed in the Framework; and (4) for cultural heritage MPAs, conform to National Register for Historic Places criteria.
 
Comments on the nominations are due by Monday, July 22, 2013.  NOAA and the Interior Department will make eligibility determinations on the nominated sites after the comment period concludes.  The relevant MPA management agencies will then review all comments and either reaffirm or withdraw the nomination, considering the public record and any other factors deemed relevant.
 
NOAA Issues Final Assessment Reports For 10 Stocks Of Marine Mammals
 
Following the agency’s incorporation of revised 2011 abundance estimates and updated bycatch data, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on Thursday announced the availability of the 2012 final stock assessment reports for the following 10 stocks of marine mammals in the Atlantic region: 
 
(1) fin whale (western North Atlantic stock);
(2) sei whale (Nova Scotia stock);
(3) minke whale (Canadian east coast stock);
(4) sperm whale (North Atlantic stock);
(5) Cuvier’s beaked whale (western North Atlantic stock);
(6) Gervais’ beaked whale (western North Atlantic stock);
(7) Sowerby’s beaked whale (western North Atlantic stock);
(8) Risso’s dolphin (western North Atlantic stock);
(9) Atlantic white-sided dolphin (western North Atlantic stock); and
(10) harbor porpoise (Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy stock).
 
Initial draft 2012 stock assessment reports for these and other marine mammals were released for public comment in August 2012, and revised draft stock assessment reports for 10 stocks of marine mammals were released for public comment in January 2013.
 
The Marine Mammal Protection Act requires NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare stock assessment reports for each stock of marine mammals occurring in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States, and requires that they be revised if the status of the stock changes or can be more accurately determined. 
 
Information in the stock assessment reports is used to identify and evaluate the status of marine mammal populations and the effects of human activities on them, authorize the taking of marine mammals incidental to human activities, develop and implement conservation measures, and evaluate fishery progress in reducing incidental mortality and serious injury to insignificant levels.
 
Updated Federal Oceanographic Fleet Status Report Is Released
 
The White House’s National Ocean Council on Tuesday announced the release of an updatedFederal Oceanographic Fleet Status Report (Report).  According to the Report, the Federal Oceanographic Fleet (Fleet) “continues to be [] critical national infrastructure that supports Federal agency and academic oceanographic operations, surveys, and research across a broad spectrum of national needs.” 
 
The updated Report, which is said to “serve[] as a foundation for efficient and effective Fleet operations at the lowest possible life-cycle costs,” notes that between 2013 and 2022 six vessels will be added to the federal fleet and nine will be retired.  With a further reduction in Fleet size and capacity set to begin in 2022, the Report notes that an Interagency Working Group on Facilities and Infrastructure (IWG-FI) is addressing impacts “based on requirements and available funding.”
 
Observations of note in the report include the following:
 
·         BOEM “will continue to conduct deepwater research in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf region”
·         “[W]ith renewed interest in leasing and exploration of offshore oil and gas resources in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, a series of research projects in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seats have been developed in close coordination with interested Federal and public partners,” and icebreakers and other support vessels will be used to deploy and operate gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles, or unmanned aircraft systems in the Arctic Ocean to “fill the data gaps and support future resource management decisions”
·         Oceanographic ships make it possible to “[a]ssess ocean resources and renewable energy for sound management and development”
·         Fleet enables scientists, managers, and decision –makers to, among other things, evaluate permit applications for dredging and drilling
·         IWG-FI “recognizes the importance of continually assessing and defining both Fleet capacity and the capabilities needed to support agency missions and the National Ocean Policy”
·         “Increased focus on climate change, ocean circulation, and environmental and fisheries research in the seasonally ice-covered waters in the Alaskan region is driving the need for a more capable, ice-strengthened vessel to operate in this harsh environment” (global class ice-capable research vessel expected to be ready for unrestricted science operations in 2014)
·         U.S. Geological Survey “foresees an increasing use of ships for seafloor and geophysical characterization related to habitat identification, establishment of continental shelf limits, and hazard assessment…”
 
The federal oceanographic fleet is comprised of 47 research and survey ships greater than 130 feet, two of which are under long-term lease by the federal government and three of which are owned by academic entities.
 
U.S. Extractive Industries Advisory Committee To Hold Public Meetings In Washington, DC 
 
The U.S. Interior Department (DOI) on Wednesday announced that the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group Advisory Committee will hold public meetings in Washington, DC on June 12-13, 2013 and July 23-24, 2013.  Those who cannot attend in person can participate by teleconference (866-707-0640, Passcode: 1500538).
 
Agenda items for the June meeting include the legal context for revenue disclosures, consideration of sub-national payments, and discussions on scope and materiality.  The July meeting agenda will include criteria and components for the U.S. draft candidacy application for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.  Final meeting agendas and materials will be available here.
 
Written comments for the June meeting must be submitted by Friday, June 7, and written comments for the July meeting must be submitted by Friday, July 19.
 
Those who wish to make public comments in person or via teleconference can do so for up to two minutes during the designated time on the agenda, time permitting.
 
DOI has described the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a “voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenues, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities.” 
                 
Participating EITI nations are required to disclose certain oil, gas, and mining development revenues to an independent reconciler, while companies are required to make disclosures of payments to the government that are then made public.
 
Each nation’s obligations are jointly developed by consensus through a Multi-Stakeholder Group made up of members of the public, government, and the private sector, and the U.S. EITI Advisory Committee will be the initial Multi-Stakeholder Group for U.S. implementation.
 
Coast Guard Seeks Applications For Navigation Safety Advisory Council Vacancies
 
The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday announced that it is seeking applications to fill seven upcoming vacancies on the Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC) in the following categories: commercial vessel owners or operators, professional mariners, recreational boaters, and state agencies responsible for vessel or port safety.
 
Through the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, NAVSAC provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters regarding maritime collisions, rammings, and groundings, Inland Rules of the Road, International Rules of the Road, navigation regulations and equipment, routing measures, marine information, diving safety, and aids to navigation systems.
 
NAVSAC is expected to meet at least twice every year, and members serve at their own expense (travel reimbursement and per diem may be provided for called meetings). 
 
NAVSAC members should have expertise in Inland and International Rules of the Road, aids to maritime navigation, maritime law, vessel safety, port safety, or commercial diving safety, and have terms of up to 3 years.
 
Applications are due by Friday, July 12, 2013.
 
Additional Information
 
For additional information, contact Brent Greenfield with HBW Resources. His contact information is below.
 
Brent Greenfield
HBW Resources
2211 Norfolk Street, #410
Houston, TX 77098
Tel: 713-337-8810
E-mail: bgreenfield@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com
 
If you have any general questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous reports, updates and Member profiles can be reviewed at: http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com.   Hope you have a great week!
 
Thanks,
 
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Twitter: @mzehrhbw
 

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