Hoeven, Colleagues Press Interior Secretary for Answers on Oil & Gas Moratorium

Senators Express Concern over Limitations Placed on Public Participation in Upcoming Virtual Forum, Misleading Statements from Interior Officials

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, this week joined his colleagues in pressing Interior Secretary Debra Haaland to provide answers regarding an upcoming forum on the administration’s moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing. In a letter led by ENR Committee Ranking Member Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the senators expressed concern over the limitations placed on public participation in the forum, citing the laws that govern the federal decision-making process.

Further, the senators questioned misleading and inaccurate statements made by Interior officials regarding impacts and ignoring the benefits of oil and gas leasing on federal lands. The group stressed the significant revenues generated by these activities, which support a range of priorities at the federal, state, local and tribal levels of government. The full text of the letter can be found here. 

“Energy development on federal lands supports our country’s national and economic security, while also providing good-paying jobs and needed revenues for education, infrastructure, conservation and other priorities,” said Hoeven. “That’s why this misguided moratorium on federal oil and gas leases is the wrong approach. By limiting public participation in this forum and making clearly inaccurate claims about federal leasing, Interior is choosing to ignore the millions of Americans who benefit from this energy development and undermining the legitimacy of this process.”

This letter comes as the latest in Hoeven’s efforts to ensure access to federal lands for multiple use, including for energy development. To this end, Hoeven has repeatedly raised this issue with Biden administration officials, including Haaland and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Hoeven also recently helped introduce the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act, which would prohibit the president or secretaries of the Agriculture, Interior and Energy departments from issuing moratoria on leasing and permitting for energy and mineral resources on federal lands. Under the legislation, Congress would have to first authorize such a moratorium. 

In addition to Hoeven and Barrasso, the letter sent to Haaland was signed by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).