Hoeven: Senate Passes Two Resolutions to Protect Private Property Rights

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after voting for two Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions that he helped introduce to protect private property rights and prevent regulatory overreaches by the Biden administration.

“We can achieve good environmental stewardship without one-size-fits-all mandates or costly federal overreaches. These resolutions are about providing regulatory certainty to landowners and protecting against federal rules that unnecessarily restrict private property rights,” said Hoeven. 

Specifically, the resolutions would: 

  • Preserve the Trump-era definition of “habitat” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
    • While the ESA defines critical habitat, it does not include a definition for the broader category of habitat. This creates uncertainty for landowners and gives federal agencies broad leeway in making critical habitat designations, including some areas where the protected species is not present.
    • Restoring the definition of habitat helps prevent federal agencies from inappropriately designating some areas as critical habitat, protecting against unnecessary restrictions on private property rights.
    • The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 51 to 49.
  • Rescind the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule listing the Northern Long-eared Bat as endangered under the ESA.
    • The bat is found in 37 states, including North Dakota, and is facing a species decline primarily due to white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease, rather than human activity.
    • The reclassification risks placing restrictions on projects that require federal permits, including those that began prior to the final November 2022 rule as well as activities that do not pose a primary threat to the species.
    • The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 51 to 49.