“HB 48 reauthorizes Utah’s participation in a coalition of energy producing states whose mission is to increase domestic energy,” Barrus said.
If approved, the bill would allow selected members to work with the legislature to develop proposed federal legislation and make recommendations regarding existing federal laws. The members would produce a report with recommendations to the National Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee.
Barrus said the mission of HB 48 is to increase domestic energy development, improve national energy security, enhance our states’ economies through energy development and speak with a unified “states voice” to regulatory issues affecting the energy sector.
HB 48 has passed both the House and the Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Barrus said he has two energy bills he is sponsoring this year that will improve Utah’s opportunities to develop its energy resources
“The energy sector is the second largest component of the State Gross Domestic Product, accounting for 7-10 percent of our GDP,” Barrus said.
Barrus said his second energy bill, HB 137, has passed a House committee hearing and is on the Governor’s list of “priority bills.”
“Last year I sponsored a bill creating the Office of Energy Development (OED),” he said. “The mission of that office is to advocate energy development in our state and to provide the energy sector with the resources and information needed to facilitate a streamlined process for permitting, developing and transporting energy to market.
“OED is an economic development office, not a regulatory office.”
This year’s legislation builds on and clarifies what has already been established.
“The bill I’m sponsoring this year establishes the organization for the office, authorizes several functions for which it will be responsible, consolidates several energy-related departments throughout the state into OED and creates an Infrastructure Authority to help companies bond for electric transmission and oil/gas pipelines in areas where new resources are being developed away from established transportation routes,” he said.
Barrus said OED will be housed with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Utah Science Technology and Research Office (USTAR).
“As the Governor said in his State of the State Address this year, energy is one of the pillars on which our state’s economy will grow,” he said.