In August, the Department of the Interior announced its intention to maintain its pursuit of reinvention and streamlining but within the existing MMS structure. With the retraction of the devolution proposal, the impetus driving legislation to provide Co ngressional authorization subsided somewhat, and H.R. 1813 and S. 921 did not progress. According to Mike Poling, natural resources counsel for Murkowski's committee, Congressional interest in elevating the status of the agency persists, and the legislat ion will be considered this year.
In the House, a legislative hearing was held by the House Committee on Resources subcommittee on energy and mineral resources, chaired by bill co-sponsor Ken Calvert (R-CA). The hearing was held March 7 and suggested strong support for the MMS's off-shor e functions but conflict over its appropriate role in federal royalty collection on federal and tribal lands. A hearing report is available on this site.
Although the 104th Congress closed without action on an MMS "Organic Act," industry and the Independent Petroleum Association of America maintain a strong interest in elevating the agency's status, and the issue is likely to resurface in the 105th Congres s.
(Contributed by John Dragonetti, AGI Government Affairs)
Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government Affairs Program
Last updated December 5, 1996