Hoeven Working to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban, Build a True States First All-of-the-Above National Energy Plan

Senator Kicks off Great Plains EmPower ND Conference

BISMARCK, N.D. – On a panel of energy leaders at the ninth annual Great Plains & EmPower ND Energy Conference, Senator John Hoeven today highlighted the importance of lifting the federal ban on crude oil exports to bolster the nation’s economy and maintain our energy security.

The senator also outlined his efforts to build a true states-first, all-of-the-above national energy policy like the one he led with EmPower North Dakota, the state’s first comprehensive energy plan, which he launched as governor in 2003. He reviewed a range of energy legislation he has authored to help the country enhance domestic energy production, reduce our reliance on Middle Eastern oil and create jobs by empowering states and the nation’s energy industry.

“America has for too long depended on foreign energy and global markets that we have little to no control over to provide our country with energy,” Hoeven said. “Lifting the ban on crude oil exports, empowering states to develop their energy resources and partnering with allies like Canada can help to free us from our dependence on the Middle East and other volatile parts of the world for energy.”

  • Working to Lift the Ban on Crude Oil Exports – Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, joined Senate Energy Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in May to introduce the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015, legislation that would lift the decades-long ban on U.S. crude oil exports. Specifically, the measure would authorize exports of crude oil and condensate produced in the United States without requiring a federal license, on the same basis as exports of refined petroleum products are currently authorized. The benefit to North Dakota in terms of both jobs and economic activity would be significant.
  • North American Energy Infrastructure Act – This bill will prevent unnecessarily protracted delays for important energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL pipeline. It eliminates the Presidential Permit requirement for projects crossing the national boundary between the United States and Canada or Mexico and puts the decision into the hands of appropriate agencies, while imposing time limits on those agencies. In January of 2015, both the U.S. Senate and House passed Hoeven’s legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project with bipartisan majorities; 62 to 36 in the Senate and 270 to 152 in the House. The president subsequently vetoed it. Hoeven continues to work to get the two-thirds majority necessary, 67 votes, to override the president’s veto.
  • Empower States Act – This legislation would ensure that states retain the right to manage oil and gas production and gives them the ability to develop hydraulic fracturing rules and to respond first to any violation. Hoeven said the 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. Hoeven emphasized that states have been successful in developing oil and gas production with good environmental stewardship.
  • The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA) – Introduced by Senator Shelley Moore Capito and a bipartisan group of senators, this bill will repeal the EPA’s proposed carbon regulations for new and existing power plants. NERA Economic Consulting projects that EPA’s new CO2 rules will cause double digit electricity price increases in 43 states.
  • LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act – Requires the Department of Energy to provide a decision on applications for liquid natural gas (LNG) facilities within 45 days after the conclusion of the review to site, construct, expand, or operate the LNG facilities required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. It also removes duplication of the environmental review process and expedites and limits protracted litigation over particular projects.
  • Waters of the U.S. – Hoeven, a member of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, in June announced that the full Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill that includes a provision to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing the Waters of the U.S. rule. The funding legislation now awaits consideration by the full Senate. In August, a U.S. District Court judge in North Dakota blocked the rule in 13 states that had filed a suit against the EPA challenging the rule. Last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a broader stay preventing the EPA from implementing the new rule nationwide.

The 2015 Great Plains & EmPower ND Energy Conference was held again this year at the National Energy Center of Excellence at Bismarck State College. The conference, which is hosted by North Dakota’s congressional delegation and governor, Bismarck State College, Great Plains Energy Corridor, KLJ and the North Dakota Department of Commerce, featured policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.