Hoeven Highlights Benefits of BLM Mineral Spacing Act, Need for Regulatory Relief with Interior & Forest Service Officials

Senator’s Bill Would Help Address Energy Permit Backlog, Increase Government Revenues

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week highlighted his Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act during a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining and discussed with Interior and Forest Service officials the need for the senator’s legislation. Hoeven’s bill, which he reintroduced last year, would streamline and improve the permitting process for energy development by waiving the requirement for a federal permit when less than 50 percent of subsurface minerals are owned or held in trust by the federal government and there is no federal surface land. Doing so would:

  • Remove duplicative layers of regulation.
  • Ease the backlog of federal energy permit applications.
  • Prevent unnecessary delays for energy producers.

That means cost savings for producers and consumers as well as increased revenues for local, state and federal governments. Energy producers would still be subject to all state laws, regulations and guidance governing energy activity in each relevant jurisdiction. This week’s legislative hearing is an important step in securing ENR Committee approval of the bill and advancing it to the full Senate.

“Energy development not only supports good jobs and a growing economy, it also is an important source of revenue at all levels of government,” said Hoeven. “Delays in federal permitting seriously hamper energy producers, especially in states like North Dakota where federal mineral resources are frequently mixed in with private and state-held minerals. Our legislation would help ease the backlog of permit applications at BLM by removing this requirement when the federal government holds just a minority share of minerals. This would better respect the property rights of our citizens while also enhancing the economic and energy security of our nation.”

The BLM Mineral Spacing Act, cosponsored by Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), is also included in the ONSHORE Act, a bill Hoeven introduced with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to empower states with the authority to manage oil and gas permitting on federal lands within their borders. These legislative efforts comes as part of Hoeven’s broader work to streamline the federal approval process for energy and infrastructure development.