January 17, 2017

The Honorable John Shimkus
U.S. House of Representatives
2217 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 22025


Dear Congressman Shimkus:

As senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and newly selected chairman of the
panel overseeing the US EPA/Clean Air Act, and on behalf of the Illinois Oil and Gas industry, may
I respectfully urge you to send an immediate request to the Director of the EPA, asking for a
minimum of a 120-day extension for the operator survey deadline for compliance with the
"Information Collection Request" (ICR) for all oil and gas facilities. Ultimately, a complete stay
of this "ICR", until it can be determined if it will actually prove fruitful for its intended
purpose, would be prudent.


As I am sure you're aware, nearly all of the oil and gas operators in the Illinois Basin, and
across the nation, have received an ICR from the US EPA in an effort to use this information to
develop new regulations to reduce methane emissions from existing sources in the oil and gas
industry. Operators were given only 60 days to comply with the ICR.


The majority of operators in Illinois are small family run businesses with limited resources that
are struggling to stay in business under the depressed oil prices over the past three years. According
to EPA estimates it will cost the oil and gas industry $18 million dollars to comply with the
operator survey portion of the ICR. Compliance could cost some small producers several thousand
dollars, and many will not be able to meet the short, 60-day deadline. In addition, the potential
penalty of more than $90,000 per day for non-compliance would be enough to force some operators
completely out of business.


In light of the aforementioned, and the burden this places on many small oil producers, I am asking
for your help in strongly encouraging the EPA to grant an extension for the operator survey
deadline, or, in the alternati ve asking for some sort of administrative relief to suspend or stay
the ICR in order to fully vet the purpose/goals of this survey.


Your timely attention to this matter will be most appreciated. Thank you.

 

Sam Barbee, Executive Vice President