Hoeven: Biden Administration, Environmental Groups Blocking Drilling Permits on Leased Federal Lands

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today issued the following statement after the Biden administration reached a settlement with environmental groups agreeing to block drilling permits across 113 leases issued between 2019 and 2020 for 58,617 acres of federal land in North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota.

“Instead of defending previously held lease sales, this settlement demonstrates the Biden administration’s continued refusal to allow oil and gas development on federal lands, a decision which undermines our energy security and has helped drive inflation to record highs,” said Hoeven. “Even when forced to hold lease sales by the courts, the Biden administration severely curtails the acres available, increases royalty rates, which get passed on to consumers, and relies on litigation from their environmentalist allies to block the permits needed for energy development. This is a bad deal for the American people and only further increases our nation’s reliance on OPEC and adversaries like Russia, Iran and Venezuela.”

Hoeven continues to push back on the Biden administration’s burdensome regulations on energy development and is working to pass legislation like his American Energy Independence from Russia Act, which would take immediate action to increase U.S. energy production, including:    

  • Prohibiting any presidential moratoria on new energy leases.
  • Requiring the U.S. Department of the Interior to hold a minimum of four oil and natural gas lease sales in each state with land available for leasing in fiscal year 2022.
  • Prohibiting the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from drawdowns of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) until the Secretary of the Interior issues a plan to increase oil and gas production on federal lands and waters.
  • Authorizing the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Removing regulatory hurdles to increase liquefied natural gas exports.

At the same time, Hoeven is advancing his Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act to streamline and improve the permitting process for energy development.