WASHINGTON – At a recent hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator John Hoeven pressed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on the need for greater U.S. domestic oil and gas production to bring down prices for American consumers, while stressing the importance of increasing the nation’s refining capacity. In contrast:
- U.S. oil refining capacity declined from 19 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2019 to 17.9 million bpd, a loss that is not expected to be offset by pending expansions at U.S. refineries.
- Restrictions on federal leasing and permitting for energy development continue to hold back U.S. oil production, which remains approximately 538,000 bpd below pre-pandemic levels.
- For example, the Department of the Interior (DOI) last year 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 to reverse harmful policies like this and continues working to advance needed regulatory relief to unlock the potential of America’s abundant energy resources, including its oil, natural gas and coal reserves.
“Prices at the pump remain well over a dollar higher per gallon since the beginning of the Biden administration, which affects the cost of every good and service in our economy” said Hoeven. “The simple fact is that we need to increase oil and gas supply to bring down energy prices and reduce inflation for American consumers. That’s something we can and should do here at home, because the U.S. produces these resources with better environmental stewardship than anywhere else in the world. I appreciate Secretary Granholm for recognizing this important priority, but in order to get there, we need President Biden to take the handcuffs off U.S. energy production.”
Specifically, Hoeven is sponsoring the following legislation to expand U.S. domestic energy production and streamline the approval process for projects needed to get energy to market, including the:
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act, which would remove the BLM permitting requirement when the federal government:
- Owns less than half of the mineral rights in a drilling spacing unit.
- Has no surface rights in the impacted area.
- Doing so would remove duplicative regulations and better respect the rights of private mineral holders.
- North American Energy Act, a bill to prevent unnecessary delays for important cross-border energy projects, such as pipelines and electrical transmission lines.
- Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Projects Act, legislation that would streamline and set deadlines for multi-agency National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews of natural gas projects needed to get energy to market.