Hoeven Outlines Need for Regulatory Relief to Empower U.S. Domestic Oil & Gas Production

Senator Advancing BLM Mineral Spacing Act to Streamline Energy Permitting

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week made the case for his Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act, which would empower the U.S. to produce more energy here at home and help bring down inflation. Hoeven, along with Senator Kevin Cramer, recently reintroduced the bill to streamline and improve the permitting process for energy development, remove duplicative regulations and better respect the rights of private mineral holders.

Hoeven made the remarks during a hearing with federal officials, where he highlighted skyrocketing energy prices, including at the pump and for home heating, and pushed back on the Biden administration’s harmful approach to energy development. The senator pressed Nada Culver, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs, to bolster U.S. energy production, including by working with him on his BLM Mineral Spacing legislation.

“Americans are paying record high prices at the gasoline pump, and that’s why we should be doing all we can to enable our nation to produce the energy we need here at home,” said Hoeven. “Currently, if there are any federal mineral rights in an oil and gas unit, a federal permit is required in addition to state permitting, resulting in significant delays and seriously limiting our ability to produce energy. Our legislation would remove this requirement when the federal government has no surface ownership and only has a minority share of the mineral rights. That’s the kind of commonsense regulatory relief our nation needs during this time of historic price increases, and the Biden administration should join us in this effort, rather than going to our adversaries, like Iran and Venezuela, for more energy.” 

Specifically, Hoeven’s legislation:

  • Removes the BLM permitting requirement in instances when:
    • Less than half of the subsurface minerals within a drilling spacing unit are owned by the federal government.
    • The federal government does not own or lease any surface rights within the impacted area.
  • Allows the federal government to receive royalties from energy production within the particular drilling or spacing unit.
  • Subjects energy producers to all state laws, regulations and guidance governing energy activity in each relevant jurisdiction.