Hoeven: Interior Department to Streamline Onshore Oil & Gas Permitting

Change will Support Nation’s Energy Independence, Generate Revenues to Address the Debt & Deficit

WASHINGTON - Senator John Hoeven today announced that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has signed a secretarial order to streamline the permitting process for mineral leases on federal lands. This will help the Interior Department address the backlog of onshore oil and gas permit applications.

“Secretary Zinke’s order is an important step in providing regulatory relief for our energy industry,” Hoeven said. “This is especially important for western states and tribes, where federal red tape and delays hamper local development. By streamlining the permit process, this order supports good jobs for our citizens, a stronger economy and more revenues for federal, state and tribal governments.”

Under current law, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to review Applications for Permit to Drill (APD) within 30 days. However, average time to approve a permit is 257 days, with 2,802 permits pending nationwide as of January 31, 2017. This includes 488 permit applications at BLM’s Dickinson field office.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, Hoeven is working to reduce federal red tape and empower states to develop all of the nation’s energy resources while still ensuring good environmental stewardship. In 2012, the Senate passed Hoeven’sBLM Streamlining Act, which expanded the service area of the Miles City, Montana office to include North Dakota. This allowed the office to process permits for North Dakota and helped relieve some of BLM’s backlog for the region.

The expanded office was made permanent in 2014 when Congress passed the BLM Management Permit Processing Improvement Act. The legislation was included the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.