Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Osage County Groups Seek to Restart Rule-Making Process

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Osage County Groups Seek to Restart Rule-Making Process

Article excerpt

Producers, landowners and members of the Osage Minerals Council want a do-over from the federal government.

The three Osage County groups, directly affected by the overhauling of the rules governing oil and gas development in Osage County, have called on the federal government to restart the process.

The Osage County Cattlemen's Association, the Osage Producers Association and members of the Osage Minerals Council on Tuesday sent a letter by express delivery to Kevin Washburn, assistant secretary of Indian affairs. They asked the U.S. Interior Department to scrap its published draft revision of the oil and gas rules and restart the negotiated rule-making process to include all stakeholders affected by the rules, said Jeff Henry, OCCA president.

The revised rules were published in the U.S. Federal Register on Aug. 28. There is a 60-day comment period, which ends Oct. 28. However, the only comments guaranteed consideration must be made in the first 30 days, according to the guidelines.

"It gives us a sense of accomplishment to work together," Henry said on Thursday. "We have been going through this process for some time now."

The letter was written and sent at the suggestion from the staff of Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said Rob Lyon, OPA president.

Representatives from the cattlemen's association went to Washington, D.C., in June. Two months later, members of the OPA and Minerals Council traveled to Washington to meet with Washburn.

"Inhofe's office told us the next step was to draft a joint letter, sign it and send it to Washington," Lyon said. "That is the last thing you can do."

It is time the three groups worked together, said Cynthia Boone, a member of the Osage Minerals Council. Boone went to Washington last month and has been a vocal opponent to the entire rule-making process.

"We should work together because we are all in this together," Boone said.

Boone said the economy will be diminished if the rules go through because exploration and production activity will drop off due to higher costs and more stringent rules.

"I believe it will have a domino effect," Boone said.

The revised rules, if adopted, would overhaul Title 25 Section 226 of the Code of Federal Regulations governing oil and gas development in Osage County. …

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