- Washington, DC, September 26, 2012 (www.energynet.com) -
Bill Britain, President and CEO of EnergyNet.com, Inc., recently testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in support of H.R. 555, the BLM Live Internet Auctions Act. (Scroll down for the video.)
This Act would allow the Bureau of Land Management the opportunity to utilize the Internet for their lease sales, replacing, as Representative Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) said, an "unintentionally restrictive" word in the Mineral Leasing Act of 1987 that prevented usage of the Internet before it even existed.
The Department of Interior also made a statement in favor of H.R. 555. Jamie Connell, Acting Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management, testified that, "The BLM supports H.R. 555, which allows the BLM to expand upon its success with the oil and gas Internet lease auction pilot project. The BLM would like to work with the Committee to include related language in the bill to provide the Secretary the discretion to hold lease sales (via the Internet or oral auction) more or less frequently than quarterly (as currently required by the Mineral Leasing Act) or within any state in which lease tracts are available and there is public interest."
The following summary of the testimony surrounding H.R. 555 was published in the Houston Chronicle:
"At least one measure considered Wednesday is relatively non-controversial; the bill would allow the Interior Department to sell onshore oil and gas drilling leases via the Internet.
"Sponsor Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, has said the legislation would modernize 'an outdated and inefficient lease sale process that requires bidders to appear in person to purchase land leases.' The result is that some would-be buyers don't participate, preventing prices from reaching their full potential.
"Connell said the administration backs the bill and considers it a chance for the Bureau of Land Management 'to expand upon its success' with a pilot project for Internet auctions. While the measure would set a quarterly schedule for onshore lease sales, the Interior Department is asking lawmakers to provide flexibility to hold those auctions more or less often in some cases."
For more information about H.R. 555, visit these additional resources from the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources:
- Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1964, H.R. 1965, H.R. 1394, and H.R. 555
- Bill Britain's "full testimony" and supporting documents, as submitted to the subcommittee
- Full statement of Jamie Connell - Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior