Congressman Harry Teague announced that he has introduced legislation with Congressman Ralph Hall, R-TX, to promote natural gas and oil drilling and exploration. Titled the Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Research and Development Act Congressman Teague's legislation would expand the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA). The RPSEA program funds drilling and exploration research between universities and our nation's energy producers.
"Domestic production of natural gas and oil is key to our path to energy independence," said Congressman Harry Teague. "We need to expand the successful programs that our local producers are already benefitting from like the RPSEA. Research and development has been critical to identifying and exploiting new oil and gas resources and if we can grow the RPSEA we can keep southeastern New Mexico at the forefront of America's energy production."
The RPSEA is important to New Mexico's many small producers as the program allows them to participate in research and development activities to enhance the development of more mature resources. New Mexico Tech and various local energy producers have been involved in the RPSEA since its creation in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In early April Congressman Teague met with local energy producers and Representatives of New Mexico Tech in Hobbs to discuss the proposed legislation.
The Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Research and Development Act fosters collaborative research in the natural gas industry, with approximately 80% of funding received through the Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Research and Development Program going to researchers at colleges and universities.
Key Components of the legislation:
* Extends authorization of the Department of Energy's unconventional domestic natural gas research and development program by 3 years, to September 30, 2017.
* Triples funding for the unconventional domestic natural gas program, increasing annual federal funding from $50 million to $150 million.
* Increases funding to meet technology challenges of small producers from $3.75 million to $11.25 million annually.
* Increases funding for unconventional natural gas and other petroleum resource exploration and production technology to $48.75 million annually.
The bill has been assigned to the House Science and Technology committee.