Hoeven Addresses National Summit on Clean Energy, Calls for Revival of American Entrepreneurism and Innovation

Senator Calls for Legal, Tax, Regulatory Certainty To Attract Private-Sector Investment, Restore American Economy

WASHINGTON– Senator John Hoeven today addressed the National Summit on Advancing Clean Energy Technologies, calling for greater legal, tax and regulatory certainty to jumpstart America’s energy industry and the national economy. Summit organizers include the Howard Baker Forum, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  

Summit emcee Karen Harbert, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, introduced the senator with a summary of North Dakota’s economic progress over the past decade, citing robust job creation, rising per capita income, a balanced state budget, and reserves for the future. The national Chamber last year named North Dakota first in the nation for jobs and economic growth.

 In his remarks, Hoeven highlighted the state’s work to create a strong, pro-growth business environment and a strategic plan for economic growth. He focused on North Dakota’s energy industry as one of five industries the state targeted for growth in 2001, and outlined North Dakota’s efforts over a decade to grow and diversify the state’s economy. 

The senator attributed the state’s success to an environment that empowered entrepreneurs and attracted innovation and private-sector investment to compete in the global economy. As an example, Hoeven cited North Dakota’s work to promote the oil industry in the state.

“When we started, oil producers were leaving the state,” he said. “If they hadn’t already left, they were on their way.”  

To turn that around, he said, the state established an oil and gas research fund; had the North Dakota Geological Survey do an assessment of recoverable reserves, which was followed up by a U.S. Geological Survey; built highway infrastructure to accommodate the industry; created a Transmission Authority to help get power to the industry and a Pipeline Authority to help get the oil out; and established a Petroleum Safety and Technology Center of Excellence at Williston State College to train workers. 

As a result, North Dakota is now the 4th largest energy producing state, moving ahead of traditional oil and gas leaders like Oklahoma and Louisiana. It was 9th a decade ago. 

On the national level, however, Hoeven said the principal challenge confronting the energy industry today is a climate of legal, tax and regulatory uncertainty that is not only sidelining investment and impeding development, but also hindering job creation and slowing economic growth.  

Hoeven is cosponsoring legislation with Senator Pat Roberts that works with a directive from President Obama. The “Regulatory Responsibility for Our Economy Act” will give the force of law to a presidential executive order issued in January that proposes to review “rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them.”  

“Throughout the history of our country, the private sector has driven our economy with investment and entrepreneurship,” Hoeven said. “It’s time to restore the kind of pro-business environment that will foster new energy resources and new technologies that help us to maintain clean air, water, and soil for generations to come.”