Hoeven Pushes For States to Take the Lead on Energy Regulations, Not One-Size-Fits-All Federal Mandates

WASHINGTON – At a Senate Energy Hearing Tuesday, Senator John Hoeven told members of the Natural Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board that North Dakota is doing a good job of regulating energy development, and that states need to continue to take the lead on regulating the industry. He told the members that their recommendations in a pending report for the Secretary of Energy on shale gas production should take into account the good work being done by states like North Dakota to regulate energy production.

“We need to produce more energy in this country,” said Hoeven. “We need to provide an atmosphere that encourages investment and growth, like we’ve done in North Dakota, so that companies will invest here, produce energy here and create the technologies that enable them to do so more safely and with better environmental stewardship.”

“We’re all in awe of North Dakota. It’s quite an amazing story that North Dakota is the fourth largest oil producing state in the nation.” said Dr. Daniel Yergin, a member of the Natural Gas Subcommittee. He continued by saying that North Dakota’s success is a result of “a combination of technology, entrepreneurship and a sound regulatory environment.” 

Dr. Yergin and members of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s Natural Gas Subcommittee are currently working to produce a final report on steps to reduce the environmental impact and improve the safety of shale gas production. The report’s recommendations, if implemented, will affect energy production, including methods like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The subcommittee has released its draft report, with its final report due Nov. 18.

Hoeven stressed the importance of allowing states to be the primary regulators for energy production and cited North Dakota’s work to attract energy investments and create an environment for growth as a key to producing the energy to power the nation, while fostering the technology to do so safely and with better environmental stewardship.

“Our state has a lot of experience with energy production,” said Hoeven. “As you move forward with recommendations, keep in mind that states should be the primary regulators. We need to do it in a way that empowers states and empowers the industry to move forward, versus falling back to the Environmental Protection Agency stepping in and saying, ‘Everybody needs to do it this way.’”