Hoeven: BLM Must Be a Good Neighbor To Property Owners, Grazers & Energy Developers in ND

Senator Pushes Back Against BLM ND Resource Management Plan, Public Lands Rule

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven pressed Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning to be a better neighbor to property owners, grazers and energy developers in North Dakota. The senator outlined how overreaching regulations being advanced by the Biden administration harm the property rights of North Dakotans, while ignoring the multiple use requirements established by Congress for federal lands. This includes BLM’s:

  • Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for North Dakota.
    • The draft RMP’s preferred alternative would close off leasing to 45 percent of potential federal oil and gas acreage and 95 percent of federal coal acreage.
    • This is particularly problematic due to the split-estate ownership issue in North Dakota, where federal minerals are often co-located with state or privately-owned minerals, under non-federal surface acreage.
    • Hoeven recently pressed Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to rescind the draft RMP and preserve access to taxpayer-owned minerals in the state.
  • Public Lands Rule.
    • BLM’s Public Lands rule seeks to establish restoration or mitigation leases, potentially locking away up to 245 million taxpayer-owned acres.
    • Hoeven is sponsoring a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval with Senate ENR Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso to reverse the Public Lands Rule.

“Not only do these rules prevent the U.S. from developing its vast, taxpayer-owned oil, gas and coal reserves, but because these resources are often co-located with privately-owned minerals, they restrict the ability of private individuals from accessing their own property. That is essentially a takings without compensation,” said Hoeven. “Moreover, these rules ignore the multiple use requirements established by Congress. So, the BLM is not only harming private property rights, but they are violating the law. The agency is acting via executive fiat, not according to any law that was passed, and needs to reverse course.”

          Hoeven continues to push back on burdensome regulations like these that lock away taxpayer-owned surface acres and energy resources. At the same time, the senator is sponsoring legislation to provide regulatory relief and empower greater development of the nation’s abundant oil, gas and coal resources. This includes:

  • The BLM Mineral Spacing Act, which would remove duplicative BLM permitting regulations and better respect the rights of private mineral holders.
  • The North American Energy Act, a bill to prevent unnecessary delays for important cross-border energy projects, such as pipelines and transmission lines.
  • Legislation to streamline and set deadlines for multi-agency National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews of natural gas pipelines and liquid natural gas (LNG) projects needed to get energy to market.