Senator Hoeven Presses for a States-First Approach to Energy Regulation

Hoeven Says One-Size-Fits-All Approach Won't Work, Calls for Cooperation among All Interests to Move Nation Forward

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today called for a states-first approach to the regulation of hydraulic fracturing and energy production. Hoeven made the statements during a roundtable of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources comprised of representatives from the energy industry and environmental groups. He also called on Congress, industry and various interest groups to work together to address the nation’s energy needs using all of the nation’s energy resources.

“I really believe that a states-first approach will help us do more, not just in energy production, but also innovation,” Hoeven said. “That will help us produce more energy from more sources with better environmental stewardship.”

Hoeven plans to reintroduce the Empower States Act to the 113th Congress in the coming weeks, a measure that would put states first in the regulation of hydraulic fracturing and gives them the ability to respond first to any violation. 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. Piling additional federal regulations which may not work on top of state regulators who are doing a good job is unnecessary, said Hoeven.

States also face very different situations when hydraulic fracturing is being used and this legislation helps ensures that regulations reflect that. For instance, in North Dakota hydraulic fracturing is used primarily to retrieve oil and wells have an average depth of over 2 miles, whereas fracturing used in Pennsylvania or New York is typically used to retrieve natural gas and operates at a much shallower depth. It doesn’t make sense to say that hydraulic fracturing in North Dakota has to be regulated exactly the same as fracturing in the Marcellus or the Utica Shales, said Hoeven.