Hoeven Outlines New Legislation to Boost Energy Production at BEPC Annual Meeting

Senator Outlines Efforts to Grow the Energy Economy, Achieve U.S. Energy Independence

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today spoke at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s (BEPC) 2012 Annual meeting to brief company officials and employees on federal legislation he has introduced to help boost the energy industry. The theme for the event was “Up to the Challenge,” and the senator spoke during the Legislative, Regulatory, and Community Report section of the meeting.

“We in North Dakota have shown clearly that states can promote strong economic growth and job creation, while at the same time, practicing good environmental stewardship,” Hoeven said. “Through both legislation and direct engagement with federal officials, we are working in Washington to create the kind of legal, tax and regulatory environment that will grow our energy industry and create true American energy independence. I believe we can accomplish this within five to seven years with the right approach.”

During his presentation, Hoeven covered key pieces of legislation he introduced to promote industry growth and energy independence:

Domestic Energy and Jobs Act (DEJA)

DEJA is a wide-ranging package of 13 diverse energy bills that addresses both traditional and renewable development, designed to streamline and simplify regulations, boost domestic energy supplies, build American energy infrastructure, and safeguard America’s supply of critical minerals. It includes a provision to disapprove the Stream Buffer Rule, a rule that was rewritten despite a thorough Environmental Impact Study, and which threatens over 7,000 mining jobs and the economies of 22 states. DEJA has 30 co-sponsors in the Senate and has been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act of 2012

This legislation provides strong state oversight for storage and management of coal residuals, while empowering industry to safely recycle it into useful and less-expensive construction materials. The bill would establish minimum federal standards, enforce groundwater protection standards, and allow for stronger and more cost-effective buildings and roads. It has bipartisan support, 25 co-sponsors in the Senate and has already been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Empower States Act

The Empower States Act would ensure that states retain the right to manage hydraulic fracturing and gives them the ability to respond first to any violation. It includes provisions to prevent loss of jobs or harm to consumers and the economy, and also prevents arbitrary regulation from federal authorities. This legislation recognizes that individual states are the first and best responders to oil and gas issues because they know their land and have a stake in protecting their environment.

Fair Compliance Act of 2011

Hoeven co-sponsored Senators Manchin’s and Coats’ Fair Compliance Act which gives Coal power plants a more reasonable time to comply with new EPA air rules.

Regional Haze

Hoeven worked to secure Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for regional haze at the Young Station and other North Dakota utilities. The EPA sought to override the state’s regulatory authority and scientific findings, implementing a one-size-fits-all approach that included more expensive and unproven technology. The agency agreed to adopt the state’s plan in March of this year.