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Mar 27, 2017
Press Release

Listen to Audio Statement on Executive Order Here

Listen to Audio Statement on Clean Power Plan Here

Listen to Audio Statement on Coal Leasing Rule Here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer will attend the signing of an Energy Independence Executive Order by President Donald Trump tomorrow at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Order, which focuses on increasing domestic energy production while also bringing the EPA back to its core mission, will rescind multiple rules created under the Obama Administration, including the Clean Power Plan and the BLM Methane Rule that directly affect North Dakota’s energy industry. The Order will also be forward looking by directing agencies to identify other impediments to domestic energy production.

“This is a pivotal moment in energy independence for our country,” said Cramer. “Despite the actions by the previous administration over the past eight years, our domestic energy industry has continued to grow. Now, with a pro-job, pro-energy President in the driver seat, we’re about to see what our country can really accomplish from a job-growth, wage-growth, and economic-growth perspective. Again, I thank the President for his leadership and I look forward to the day when our country is 100% energy independent.”

Expected to be in President Trump’s Energy Independence Order tomorrow includes:  

  • Review and Rescinding of Clean Power Plan and New Source CO2 Rule: According to a National Economic Research Associates study, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would cause electricity rates to increase an average of 12% to 17% through 2031. Congressman Cramer has been an outspoken critic of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  He wrote editorials published in the Wall Street Journal and The Hill, cosponsored and voted for legislation to stop the rule, including Congressional Review Act resolutions, and joined an amicus brief to overturn the rule.

“President Trump’s executive action to stop the Clean Power Plan and carbon dioxide emission rule for new electric generating plants is great news for North Dakota’s energy producers, consumers, and businesses to help maintain affordable and reliable electricity in our state and country,” said Cramer. President Obama singled out North Dakota in the Clean Power Plan by requiring the state’s energy producers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an unprecedented 45 percent, which is dramatically higher than the 11 percent reduction proposed in the initial rule. The rule for new sources of electricity has essentially been a ban on new coal-fired power plants since its introduction. I look forward to continue working with President Trump to grow jobs and restore our originally designed balance of government.”

  • Review and Rescinding of the EPA and BLM Methane Rules: New climate change initiatives were placed on the oil and natural gas sector on September 18, 2015, and February 8, 2016, by the EPA and BLM respectively.  By EPA’s own numbers, methane emissions have decreased while production has increased over the same time period. “These efforts are unnecessary, given methane is a product the industry is in the business of selling, not wasting, but also because they’re duplicative, costly, and will be detrimental to our North Dakota economy, said Cramer.” States, such as North Dakota, are charged with preventing resource waste and already have flaring and venting rules. In Congress, Cramer is a co-sponsor of H.J. Res. 36, the BLM Methane Resolution of Disapproval that passed out of the House on February 3, 2017. He has also advocated for a vote in the Senate on the same resolution.
  • Rescinding the Federal Coal Lease Moratorium: On January 15, 2016, the Obama Administration announced a temporary moratorium on coal leases for federal lands meant to curb the supply of fossil fuels in the United States. North Dakota is home to abundant coal reserves that provides low-cost, reliable electricity to over two million customers in the Upper Great Plains, and supports over 17,000 jobs and $3 billion annually in economic activity. The coal industry contributes over $100 million in state tax revenues each year, approximately $13 million of which is directly returned to counties and schools. 

“The moratorium on mining federal coal never did make sense. It’s bad for the environment, it makes coal mining inefficient, it robs the federal taxpayers of important revenue, and it’s clearly designed only to make coal more expensive so it drives up the cost of electricity. This was a bad idea from the beginning, and I’m grateful President Trump sees that. This is an important part of the overall effort to try and maintain coal’s competitive advantage.”

  • Rescinding of BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule: On March 20, 2015, the Department of Interior released a final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands.  On June 24, 2015, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl granted a stay of BLM’s rule citing the fact that Congress specifically removed possible federal authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The rule would have created new requirements duplicative of state requirements, including North Dakota, for issues such as well construction, waste water management, and chemical disclosure.  State rules are specifically tailored to each state’s unique geologic and hydrologic conditions to better protect the environment and groundwater than a one-size-fits-all federal rule.    

Other important provisions expected in the Order include:

  • Rescinding the Social Cost of Carbon Directives
  • Rescinding the CEQ guidance on factoring climate into NEPA reviews
  • Rescinding other climate change executive orders, memoranda, and guidance from the Obama Administration

Cramer is the at-large Congressman for the great State of North Dakota. An early-endorser and energy advisor for Trump’s presidential campaign, he also serves on the House Energy and Commerce subcommittees for energy and environmental issues.