The Louisiana legislature convened March 9 with new leadership, and PESA and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) are keeping watch on key legislation that could affect the oilfield services sector.
The 105-member House has 45 new members, including two former senators, and a new Speaker. The 39-member Senate has 20 new members, including 10 former House members, and a new Senate President.
PESA is monitoring several bills, including:
- SB 359 (Sen. Bob Hensgens), which authorizes the secretary or attorney general to enforce coastal use permits.
- SB 57 (Sen. Patrick McMath) would eliminate the award of attorney fees in cases involving remediation of oilfield sites, and exploration and production sites.
- SB 353 (Sen. Sharon Hewitt) facilitates carbon sequestration by requiring the storage operator show evidence of completion and that the associated facilities have been decommissioned. The proposed law allows ownership of the project to transfer to a party that has established a site-specific trust account rather than to the state.
- HB 360 (Rep. Mike Pete Huval) provides methodology for valuating oil and gas wells for ad valorem assessments. This bill takes into consideration the fair market value of oil and gas production when determining ad valorem taxes for a specific well site.
- SB 141 (Sen. Rick Ward) reallocates severance tax to parishes for parish transportation funds. This proposed constitutional amendment changes the maximum amount of severance tax on natural resources collected by a parish from $850,000 to $2,850,000 beginning July 1, 2021. It also requires that the excess severance tax be used only within the parish for the same purposes as money collected for the Parish Transportation Fund. The term “excess severance tax” refers to any amount collected that exceeds taxes collected in FY 2019-2020.
- SB 386 (Sen. Bret Allain) creates the Commission for Louisiana’s Energy, Environment and Restoration within the Department of Natural Resources. This new agency would support programs designed to educate the general public on the importance of the oil and gas industry to Louisiana while promoting efficient use of energy, environmentally sound practices and remediation of historic oilfield sites.
Several controversial topics will be addressed this year, including the expansion of the state’s medical marijuana law. The session must end by 6 p.m. on June 1.
For more information on state government affairs, contact Senior Director Government Affairs Kristin Hincke.