Hoeven to Beaudreau: End Oil & Gas Moratorium, Resume Lease Sales & Support U.S. Energy Independence

Senator Holds Discussion with Interior Deputy Secretary & North Dakota Energy Producers

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today urged Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau to end the administration’s moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases and to move forward with all postponed and future lease sales. The senator previously made this case to Interior Secretary Debra Haaland, having highlighted a federal court decision earlier this year to block the moratorium. This comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to ensure the administration complies with the court decision and ends the moratorium. To this end, he has:

  • Raised the issue with multiple Biden administration officials, including Interior Secretary Haaland and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
  • Pressed Haaland regarding limitations placed on public participation in a recent virtual forum on the moratorium.
  • Helped introduce legislation to prohibit the administration from issuing moratoria on leasing and permitting for energy and mineral resources on federal lands.

The senator made the remarks during a roundtable he held with Beaudreau, Senator Kevin Cramer and North Dakota energy producers. Hoeven invited Beaudreau to the state so he could learn more about the challenges challenges faced by the state’s energy industry and opportunities to ensure the U.S. remains energy independent. 

“North Dakota has grown into a global energy powerhouse, supporting our nation’s energy independence while also providing good-paying jobs and a stronger economy,” said Hoeven. “The Biden administration has taken us in the wrong direction on energy, including by issuing a moratorium on oil and gas leases, while the same time, calling on OPEC to increase their oil production. It makes no sense to increase our reliance on less stable parts of the world, when we should be harnessing our abundant energy resources here at home with better environmental stewardship. That’s exactly the case we’re making to Deputy Secretary Beaudreau, and I appreciate his willingness to visit North Dakota and discuss these critical issues directly with our energy producers.”

In addition to pushing back on the oil and gas moratorium, Hoeven is working to advance energy and infrastructure development critical to our economic and national security by:

  • Working to maintain the operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
    • Hoeven hand-delivered to President Biden letters from Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox and North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, emphasizing the need to keep DAPL operational while the Army Corps of Engineers completes its court-ordered review.
    • The senator also repeatedly spoke with Army Corps Chief LTG Scott Spellmon to help ensure the federal court allows adequate time for tribal and state consultation and to help prevent a shutdown of DAPL.
  • Supporting the advancement of key energy infrastructure projects, like the North Bakken Expansion Pipeline
    • FERC’s consideration of new pipeline approvals had previously appeared to stall starting in October 2020.
    • Hoeven led a bipartisan group of 25 senators in calling on FERC to act and review the North Bakken Expansion Pipeline and 13 other natural gas pipeline infrastructure projects pending before the Commission.
    • The North Dakota delegation had also earlier expressed their support for the project and urged FERC to take timely action on the project, which had been awaiting FERC consideration since its formal filing in February 2020.
    • As a result, Hoeven announced in June that FERC had approved the Bakken project, for which construction started last month.
  • Introducing his BLM Mineral Spacing Act in the 116th Congress. The senator’s bill would waive the requirement for a federal permit when less than 50 percent of subsurface minerals are owned or held in trust by the federal government and there is no federal surface land.