Hoeven Statement on Federal Court Ordering BLM to Hold Oil & Gas Lease Sales in North Dakota

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Traynor ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to resume oil and gas lease sales for federal lands in North Dakota.

“President Biden and his environmentalist allies continue blocking needed development of taxpayer-owned energy resources,” said Hoeven. “This decision is a welcome step to hold the Biden administration accountable and ensure they hold quarterly lease sales, which is required by law and had been ordered by federal courts previously. Energy security not only supports our national security, but it’s essential to bringing down the inflation that is burdening American families and businesses. That’s why we continue working to take the handcuffs off U.S. energy production.” 

In 2022, the Department of the Interior (DOI) significantly reduced access to federal oil and gas reserves, only allowing 20 percent of available acreage for oil and gas leasing, while also raising production fees on the lands by 50 percent. Hoeven has repeatedly pressed the Biden administration, including Interior Secretary Debra Haaland, to reverse policies like this and enable the development of America’s abundant energy resources, including its oil, natural gas and coal reserves. To this end, the senator:

  • Helped introduce legislation to prohibit the president or the secretaries of the Interior or Agriculture from unilaterally blocking energy and mineral leasing and permitting for federal lands.
  • Is sponsoring the BLM Mineral Spacing Act to remove the BLM permitting requirement in instances when the federal government owns less than half of the subsurface minerals within a drilling spacing unit and has no surface ownership in the impacted area.
    • Doing so would eliminate duplicative regulations, better respect the rights of private mineral holders and empower greater domestic oil and natural gas production.