Hoeven Joins President at Signing of Executive Order on Energy Independence

Order Supports Hoeven Efforts to Stop EPA’s Costly Power Plan, Roll Back BLM Methane Rule

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, today joined the president as he signed an executive order promoting energy independence by rolling back regulations hampering domestic energy development. The president’s action today stops the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) costly power plan rules for new and existing coal generating plants, rescinds the moratorium on new federal coal leases and rolls back the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) duplicative methane and hydraulic fracturing rules. The president’s order also directs all federal agencies to identify ways to better develop the nation’s resources. 

“We need reliable and affordable energy to grow our economy and make our nation more secure,” said Hoeven. “For too long we’ve burdened industry with unworkable and unrealistic regulations that have hampered growth and innovation. We can develop our energy resources with good environmental stewardship. Today’s action by the president will help to make our nation more energy independent, which makes our country more secure and our economy more vibrant.”

Stopping EPA’s Costly Power Plan 

Today’s actions requires the EPA to review and rescind regulations that have harmed the nation’s coal industry, including beginning to roll back the EPA’s so-called clean power plan rules for new and existing coal generating plants. In the last Congress, Hoeven cosponsored and the Senate passed two resolutions to repeal the EPA’s costly power plan rules for existing plants and new coal generating plants, which President Obama subsequently vetoed. Separately, the senator helped introduce the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, which would protect against the regulations. He also organized a meeting with the EPA, state officials and industry leaders, where the agency agreed to work with the state and provide more time to address its concerns.

“These costly EPA rules for both new and existing power plants would have forced the closure of power plants in North Dakota, and halted the progress of companies that have invested billions of dollars to develop new technologies to produce more energy with better environmental stewardship,” said Hoeven. “The president’s order ensures that our coal industry can grow and innovate.” 

Tomorrow, Hoeven will join Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to begin implementing the president’s executive order, including: 

  • Reviewing the BLM methane rule, which is duplicative and creates conflicts within the regulatory process. Hoeven has called for the BLM to allow states to take the lead in the regulatory process to reduce natural gas flaring and to address the backlog in permit applications for gas gathering infrastructure. 
  • Rescinding the moratorium on federal coal leasing.
  • Stopping the BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rule for federal lands, which is duplicative to state regulations. Hoeven has pressed the BLM to work with states to remove duplication in hydraulic fracturing regulations, which creates unnecessary delays and increased costs for energy producers.
  • Reestablishing the Royalty Policy Committee to provide greater transparency in royalty and leasing policy for energy production on federal and tribal lands.