Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Gosar, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you on the Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2019. My name is Bruce Baizel, I’m the Energy Program Director with Earthworks. We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from impacts of oil and gas development while seeking a just and rapid transition to renewable energy.
Our Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) has worked in the West since 1998. In the early years, we specialized in protecting surface owners, mineral rights owners, and communities primarily facing nearby oil, gas, and coal bed methane operations. Since then, the proliferation of directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations has encroached upon additional communities impacting our health, climate, wildlife, air, water, and property.