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Federal
BLM offers revision to methane waste prevention rule: Notice opens comment period for proposed venting and flaring regulation
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 02/12/18 2:23 PM
WASHINGTON -- As part of President Trump's Executive Order 13783 promoting energy independence [Section 7 (6)(iv)] from March 28, 2017, to review and modify federal regulations that unnecessarily hinder economic growth and energy development, the Bureau of Land Management today announced a proposal to revise the 2016 final Waste Prevention Rule (also known as the venting and flaring rule). The proposed rule would eliminate duplicative regulatory requirements and re-establish long-standing requirements that the 2016 final rule sought to replace. The proposal includes a 60-day opportunity for public comment.

"In order to achieve energy dominance through responsible energy production, we need smart regulations not punitive regulations," said Joe Balash, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. "We believe this proposed rule strikes that balance and will allow job growth in rural America."

Among the concerns identified was that the economic impact on operators was underestimated in the 2016 rule. In addition, a review of existing state and federal regulations found considerable overlap with the rule.

As a result, the BLM is proposing to replace the venting and flaring rule with requirements similar to those that were in force prior to the 2016 final rule. This proposal would align the regulations with administration priorities on energy development, job creation and reduced compliance costs while also working more closely with existing state regulatory efforts.

In an earlier part of this effort, the BLM published a final rule entitled, "Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation; Delay and Suspension of Certain Requirements," which suspended or delayed certain requirements of the 2016 final rule until Jan. 17, 2019. The rule, finalized on Dec. 8, ensured that operators on federal and Indian oil and gas leases would not expend their resources on complying with the requirements of the 2016 rule that the BLM is today proposing to replace.

The BLM's proposal supports the administration's priorities that require agencies to seek ways to reduce the costs of regulatory compliance (Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs) and that require the Secretary to reconsider the 2016 final rule (Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth). Secretary Zinke followed up with Secretarial Order No. 3349, American Energy Independence, on March 29, 2017, which among other things, called for review of the 2016 rule.

"I am glad that Secretary Zinke is proposing to replace the unnecessary and costly methane rule," said Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY). "If left in place, the rule would have discouraged energy production and job creation in Wyoming and across the West."

"The previous administration scorned domestic energy development and crafted the prior rule to deliberately stifle it," said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop

(R-UT). "This is a necessary step to promote investment in federal and tribal lands so that economies in the west can grow. We will continue to work in coordination with Secretary Zinke, the Trump administration, states and tribal communities to advance new and better policies."

"North Dakota has clearly demonstrated that state-led regulations can deliver good environmental stewardship without imposing unnecessary costs," Senator John Hoeven (R- ND) said. "Revising the duplicative BLM methane rule will empower greater energy production on federal lands. At the same time, we continue working to build the infrastructure we need across federal, state and private lands to capture this valuable resource and reduce flaring."

"Senate Democrats killed the historical opportunity to permanently rid North Dakota of the federal mediocrity that is the venting and flaring rule," said Congressman Kevin Cramer
(R-ND). "I appreciate the Administration's intentions - with the many problems associated with Obama's rule, I look forward to closely studying its proposed replacement. It is my hope it addresses North Dakota's issues, as we have expressed both to Interior and to the federal courts. Methane is a commodity, and facilitating its economical transfer to the market is the solution."

"The impacts of BLM's Obama-era venting and flaring rule would be devastating to the economy of New Mexico, which relies on the production of energy resources for thousands of jobs along with roughly 30-40% of the State's operating funds," said Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM). "The full implementation of this rule would directly threaten funding for schools, teachers, hospitals, law enforcement, and other essential services our communities rely on. I appreciate the Secretary's commitment to improving this rule and look forward to working with the Department to move these necessary reforms forward."

While the proposed rule is open for public comment generally, the Federal Register notice specifically requests comment on ways that the BLM can reduce the waste of gas by incentivizing the capture, reinjection, or beneficial use of the gas.

Public comments on this proposed rule are due to the BLM within 60 days of the day it appears in the Federal Register, which is expected this week. The BLM is not obligated to consider, or include in the administrative record, comments received after that time or delivered to an address other than those listed below in making its decisions on the final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134LM, 1849 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240, Attention: 1004-AE52.

Personal or messenger delivery: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 20 M Street, S.E., Room 2134 LM, Washington, D.C. 20003, Attention: Regulatory Affairs.

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions at the website.

-- BLM --

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016--more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.

President's $1 Billion budget proposal for BLM supports access to public lands for multiple uses: Emphasizes the interconnection between people, the public lands and the economy
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 02/12/18 11:24 AM
WASHINGTON -- In keeping with the Administration's goal of securing America's energy dominance, President Trump has proposed a $1 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for the Bureau of Land Management that will provide resources to promote energy development on public lands while expanding access to recreation and conservation areas.

The President's proposal provides resources to support the Administration's goals and meets the BLM's multiple-use and sustained yield mission in other areas. The budget focuses on the BLM's field operations, including being a "Good Neighbor" to the communities that are home to BLM lands and within common regional boundaries with other Interior bureaus.

Conserving Our Land and Water Resources

BLM lands are working lands that allow traditional land uses such as grazing. The BLM currently administers approximately 18,000 grazing allotments on about 155 million acres of public lands. To support these efforts, the budget proposes $82.1 million for the Range Management program. In 2019, the Bureau will continue to streamline the grazing permit process and look for opportunities to incorporate flexible terms and conditions into permit renewals.

Generating Revenue and Utilizing Our Natural Resources

The budget requests $185 million to provide access to energy and minerals development, including resources to establish a competitive leasing program on the Coastal Plain (1002 Area) of the Alaska North Slope, as required by the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The proposed funding for energy and minerals will add capacity and improve the federal coal leasing and permitting program.

Expanding Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor recreation is vital to the Nation's heritage and economy -- a fact that is recognized by the Bureau's 2019 budget request. Recreation activities on BLM lands, including hunting, fishing, motorized recreation, camping, and more, help support thousands of jobs and help contribute millions of dollars of economic activity. Expanding these opportunities is central to the 2019 proposal for the BLM as it requests $53.2 million for Recreation Resources Management, $11.9 million for Wilderness Management, and $26.3 million for National Monuments and National Conservation Areas. An investment of more than $90 million in these areas continues to support a wide range of recreational opportunities and creates job opportunities in many rural western communities.

Modernizing Our Organization and Infrastructure for the Next 100 years

The BLM owns more than 5,000 structures and buildings, including dams, bridges, electrical and communication systems, trails, and roads. With a request of $24.9 million, the BLM will tackle its highest priority deferred maintenance projects that support critical health or safety and mission essential repair projects in an effort to directly and positively impact the safety of both Interior employees and the public that they serve.

Protecting Our People and Resources

BLM lands lie directly along nearly 200 miles of the international boundary with Mexico in New Mexico, Arizona and California, where the BLM promotes safety, security, and environmental protection of public lands, public land users, and employees. The 2019 budget request includes $24.2 million for the Law Enforcement program to continue resource and public safety efforts along the southwest border, as well as combat marijuana cultivation on public lands and address other needs.

Legislative Proposals

To further support recreation on public lands, the Department is seeking the permanent reauthorization of the Recreation Fee program under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which expires on September 30, 2018. The Act provides nearly $260 million in revenue annually that is used to improve and support recreation facilities on parks and public lands, including BLM-managed lands.

The BLM seeks to lift the burdensome restrictions on how it manages the Wild Horse and Burro program, as part of the Department's effort to reduce the program's unsustainable long-term costs and to meet the legal obligations under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

The budget also proposes the permanent reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, which expired in 2011. The Act allows lands identified in recent resource management plans as being available for disposal to be sold with the revenue used to acquire lands with high conservation values and to cover costs associated with conducting sales.


-BLM-


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Department estimates that the diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016--more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported an estimated 372,000 jobs.

Secretary Zinke to Host Press Call on FY 2019 Trump Administration Budget
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 02/12/18 8:27 AM
WASHINGTON - Today, at 12:30 PM EST, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will host a news media telephone briefing regarding the FY 2019 Trump Administration budget. Credentialed members of the news media may RSVP for the call by emailing Alex at Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov to obtain the dial-in information.

WHAT:

Telephone press briefing
WHO:

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
WHEN:

Monday, February 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM EST
WHERE:

RSVP to obtain dial-in information
RSVP:

This call is only for members of the news media. Email Alex at Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov to obtain the dial-in information

Banks & Credit Unions
Give Your Wallet Some Love This Valentine's Day (Photo)
Northwest Credit Union Assn. - 02/13/18 7:58 AM
Infographic for social media
Infographic for social media
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2018-02/4992/111968/thumb_LoveSocial_Wallet.jpg
Join a Washington Credit Union and Ditch Those Annoying Fees!
SEATAC, WA--. Flowers, chocolates, engagement rings, and acts of kindness are all great on Valentine's Day, but we have another idea: show your wallet some love. If your heart is broken over the high price of roses and candy, know that those treats might be more affordable if you avoid bank fees and join a local credit union.

Wouldn't you love to save $195 a year in interest on your car loan? Don't you pine for free checking? Wouldn't it be sweet to use an ATM when you travel and not pay a fee for it? Couldn't you just kiss a credit card with a lower interest rate than other financial institutions are charging--up to 2.46 percent lower? Those are the benefits 3.5 million Washingtonians are loving, because they are credit union members.

The key difference between credit unions and other financial institutions is that credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives. If you're a member, you're an owner. Instead of paying Wall St. stockholders, credit unions return direct benefits to Main St. owners and that means you. Lower interest rates on loans and credit cards, networked, surcharge-free ATMs, and higher interest on your savings are just some of the benefits of credit union membership. That's a relationship worth being in!

Nearly all Washington residents are eligible for credit union membership. Be #CUobsessed and own your money. To find a credit union that's convenient for you, please visit www.asmarterchoice.org.

" Washington Membership Benefits Report," Credit Union National Association study based on Dratatrac, NCUA, and CUNA comparison of bank and credit union rates, for 12 months ending in Sept 2017.


The Northwest Credit Union Association is the not-for-profit trade association representing over 180 credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 6.5 million consumer members. Northwest Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, owned by their members. Credit unions help members achieve their financial goals. All earnings in excess of operating expenses and required reserves are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, fewer fees and higher interest paid on savings. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit http://www.asmarterchoice.org.
North Sound Privates, Charters, Childcares
Northshore Christian Academy Middle School Musical
Northshore Christian Academy - 02/13/18 9:23 AM
Everett, WA February 13, 2018: Northshore Christian Academy's Middle School students will be presenting Oklahoma! On March 15, 16, 17 and 23. This "junior" version of the classic Rogers and Hammerstein show is enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. Oklahoma! Was first presented 75 years ago and is the most produced musical of all times. Grab your boots and hat, and come on down for this spellbinding, boot stomping, all family musical. Tickets go on sale on February 22 and are available on our website: www.northshorechristianschools.org