CRAMER: Zinke Promises Interior Will Be ‘Better Neighbor’ in Trump Administration
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement after Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a Secretarial Order to address the extensive backlog of permit applications for mineral leases on federal lands. The Order also aims to identify solutions for improving access to additional parcels of federal land for mineral development.
“Considering the Interior has held more federal lease sales in the first six months than the Obama Administration did all of last year, it’s clear the Trump Administration and Secretary Zinke are making American energy a priority. North Dakota enjoys a wide-array of energy sources, and it’s about time we have an Administration with an all-of-the-above energy strategy. Congress should double-down on Zinke’s Secretarial Order with legislation to make sure the next ‘keep-it-in-the-ground’ president can’t pick winners and losers in the energy sector the way the last one did.”
By law, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must review and process Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) within 30 days of receiving one. According to data from the Interior, the average time to approve a lease permit is 257 days – with roughly 2,802 ADPs pending as of January 31, 2017. North Dakota’s BLM field office located in Dickinson had the third largest backlog with 488 APDs in the queue. There’s an approximately 1,000 parcel backlog within the Montana/Dakotas office control to be made available for competitive oil and gas leasing.