Hoeven: Let's Use the QER Process to Set a National Goal of Energy Security

Federal Government Needs to Streamline Development

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee, today issued the following statement in response to the National Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The event was attended by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and a group of federal officials and energy industry leaders.

“Let’s use the QER process to set a goal for national energy security within five years. For the first time in decades this is a real possibility. America today has the resources and technology to actually produce more oil and gas than we use, but we need the federal government to work with us instead of impeding the effort.

“The U.S. and our closest ally Canada currently provide nearly 87 percent of the fuel we use in our country – within striking range of energy security. Last year, Texas and North Dakota alone accounted for 83 percent of all growth in domestic crude oil production.

“The president has said several times that overall oil production in the U.S. is up by 40 percent on his watch. The fact is, it’s up by 60 percent on private lands, but down by 6 percent on public lands because of red tape and a bureaucratic permitting process that is holding up needed investment in vital infrastructure. For example, the Keystone XL pipeline has been waiting more than five years for a decision, and it would take more than 500 trucks a day off heavily traveled roads in North Dakota. Instead of discouraging investment, we need to incentivize it by providing an efficient, fair and transparent regulatory process that takes months, not years to work.

“Companies need regulatory certainty to give them the confidence they need to make the kinds of multi-billion dollar investments necessary in the energy industry, including energy infrastructure like pipelines, gas gathering systems and LNG export facilities.

“The U.S. already produces more natural gas in this country than we use. In fact, North Dakota flares $1.5 million dollars of gas a day as a byproduct of oil production because we lack infrastructure to capture it and markets to sell it. Yet as we speak, much of Europe is dependent on Russia for natural gas, and Vladimir Putin is marshalling troops on the border of Ukraine. We have a market, but we don’t have the infrastructure, neither the gas gathering systems we need nor the LNG export facilities. Just one export facility, other than a small one in Alaska, has been fully approved by the Department of Energy. Seven are only conditionally approved out of the more than 40 permit applications submitted to DOE, many of which have been waiting for more than a year for a decision.

“Setting a national goal of energy security within five years is a realistic and laudable goal for the Quadrennial Energy Review process. It will create jobs for our people, boost our economy, reduce flaring and strengthen our national security.”