Hoeven Calls for Permitting Reform, Regulatory Relief to Unlock U.S. Energy Potential, Bring Down Prices for Consumers

WASHINGTON – During remarks delivered on the Senate floor this week, Senator John Hoeven outlined the need for permitting reform and regulatory relief in order to unlock the nation’s energy potential. The senator discussed how more U.S. domestic energy production, as well as facilities to get energy to market, are needed to bring down prices for American consumers and get inflation under control. To this end, Hoeven is sponsoring the following bills in the U.S. Senate, which have been included in H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives:

  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act, which would remove duplicative BLM permitting regulations and better respect the rights of private mineral holders. 
  • North American Energy Act, a bill to prevent unnecessary delays for important cross-border energy projects, such as pipelines and electrical transmission lines.
  • Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Projects Act, legislation that would streamline and set deadlines for multi-agency National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews of natural gas projects needed to get energy to market.

“Today, it often takes longer to navigate the federal permitting process than it does to actually construct a project. It currently takes on average 4.5 years or more to complete an environmental impact statement,” said Hoeven. “This uncertainty not only drives up the cost of future projects, it is being applied to projects currently permitted in good faith. Take for instance the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been operating safely for nearly six years, transporting over half a million barrels of light, sweet crude oil per day from North Dakota and from the Fort Berthold Reservation and the Three Affiliated Tribes.

“The Army Corps held 389 meetings, conferred with more than 55 tribes and completed a 1,261-page environmental assessment before the pipeline went into operation. Yet, litigation continued following federal approval and completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Corps is currently expected to take more than four years to complete a full EIS for a 0.21-mile crossing under the Missouri River. Subjecting a completed $3.78 billion project to litigation without reasonable limits cannot be the new normal.

“Increasing the supply and lowering the cost of energy is key to attacking inflation, because the cost of energy is built in to every good and service consumed across our economy. To accomplish this goal, the Biden administration needs to take the handcuffs off American energy producers and work with us on bipartisan permitting reform.

“The United States is fortunate to have abundant and affordable reserves of coal, oil and gas, and U.S. energy companies are global leaders when it comes to producing more energy with the highest environmental standards. We need to empower our producers with a clear, consistent, and timely federal permitting process. Otherwise, we will once again become dependent on unstable and adversarial countries like Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and even China – countries hostile to our economic and national security interests. That’s why meaningful permitting reform is needed to create jobs, enhance our geopolitical competitiveness, and bring down costs for hardworking families.” 

Hoeven’s full remarks can be found here.